Roberto Luongo traded to Florida Panthers

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Carolina Hurricanes v Florida Panthers

The day many thought would never come. On Tuesday afternoon, Quebec reporter Renaud Lavoie reported a major trade with Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo being sent to the Florida Panthers.

The terms of the trade as we have so far learned include a return of young goaltender Jacob Markstrom (once Eddie Lack’s backup in his time in Sweden) and centre Shawn Matthias.

Vancouver will reportedly retain 15 per cent ($800,000) of Luongo’s albatross contract (as per TSN’s Gord Miller), and also send prospect Steven Anthony.

 

 

 

Florida was an ideal destination for Luongo, as he spent a bulk of his career and met his wife Gina, whose family remains in Florida. Throughout the 2012-13 year when the trade rumours were at a high, a Canucks-Panthers trade was a much-discussed topic because of the goalies’ personal reasons.

With a No-Trade-Clause, Roberto has had a role in this trade, though the timing is in question.

According to The Vancouver Sun’s Iain McIntyre, Luongo was “Stunned. I was not expecting it. I’m happy for myself and my family but a little sad to be leaving Vancouver”.

TSN’s Bob Mckenzie speculates that this trade is a result of coach John Tortorella’s decision to bench Luongo in Sunday’s Heritage Classic against Ottawa, where Eddie Lack was met with boos and “We Want Lu” cheers and jeers.

Luongo returns to a Florida Panthers team he once stood on his head with until he was famously traded to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Alexander Auld and Bryan Allen in 2006. He will be sharing the net with former Bruins goaltender and 2011 Stanley Cup Final rival Tim Thomas.

The trade completes the biggest goaltender controversy in the league that has had reporters discuss his destination for at least two years. It was thought to have ended when original rival Cory Schneider was traded to the New Jersey Devils for a first-round draft pick that turned out to be Bo Horvat.

More to come as the trade news unfolds.

 

 

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Vyas Saran Canucks Columnist. UBC PoliSci student.
@vyassaran

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