An upset Roberto Luongo took to the podium just minutes after the trade deadline had passed to address the media. He did so as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, still.
Safe to say, that's not what he expected. Nor is it what he wanted. But it's what's happening. With the trade deadline now passed, Luongo will remain with the Canucks for the duration of the season.
He was raw and upset, and it showed in moments of stunningly rare emotional honesty. Luongo was asked why he thought he was still here -- what the problem was.
"My contract sucks," he said, bluntly. "That's what the problem is. Unfortunately it's a big factor in trading me and probably why I'm still here."
He's not wrong. While it's tough to feel too bad for a player making so much guaranteed money for so long, it was almost tougher not to Luongo stood up there as an example of what these contracts can do to a man. We've seen it with Wade Redden too, who finally escaped from contract purgatory earlier this year and, ironically, now finds himself reunited with Zdeno Chara in Boston.
The situation in Vancouver grew awkward and uncomfortable some time ago, but the market to move Luongo and move on has never really materialized because of the huge extension he signed in 2009.
On Wednesday, we saw the raw emotion of a man that realized that contract was a mistake.
"I'd scrap it if I could," Luongo said, in a moment of startling honesty.
"It's a hit on your pride that teams aren't willing to give up much," he added.
The circumstances leading up to the presser likely conspired to give us such a raw Luongo, both short-term and long-term. After a first-round ouster in last year's playoffs that saw Luongo on the bench for the final game, he asked out, and the Canucks began trying to move him in a deal that made sense for the club. They'll continue trying again a summer later. That's frustrating.
But, even more frustrating was that, in the final minutes before the deadline, it looked like they had done it. Luongo was pulled from practice, leading many to assume that the long-awaited deal had finally come to fruition. Instead, it turned out no deal had been made, and as they continued negotiating, they just needed him on hand in case they needed him to waive that no-trade clause at the wire. Then it turned out they didn't.
The emotional rollercoaster was hard on Luongo. He admitted to feeling fine right up until yesterday, when it hit him that this could be it.
And then, moments after he thought he was going to have to face the future, he's right back in limbo.
"I'm not disappointed in the way I have handled the situation," Luongo said at one point, and he shouldn't be. But clearly, he's disappointed in the situation, and thats fair, because this situation no longer is.