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PHT List: 10 reasons Luongo could end up in Tampa Bay

Apr 25, 2012, 5:36 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

There’s no guarantee the Vancouver Canucks will trade, or be able to trade, Roberto Luongo this summer. However, if it happens, here are 10 reasons why Tampa Bay makes sense as a destination.

1. The Lightning are desperate for a goalie. We saw in the Jeff Carter trade to Los Angeles that desperation (the Kings badly needed scoring) can persuade teams to take risks they normally wouldn’t.

2. Tampa Bay isn’t exactly in “Stanley Cup or bust” territory, but the window on Martin St. Louis’ career is closing. He’ll turn 37 in June.

3. As Elliotte Friedman points out, management will often take on salary if it feels the player can deliver additional playoff revenue. And if the Lightning had had better goaltending this season, They might not have missed the playoffs. The capacity of the Tampa Bay Times Forum is around 19,000. Supposing the average ticket price for a postseason game is $50, that’s around a million bucks in ticket revenue per game.

4. The Lightning have the cap space to absorb Luongo’s $5.3 million hit. Dwayne Roloson ($3.5 million) will be off the books next season, and the Canucks could take back salary in return.

5. Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said Tuesday he wants to make his team “bigger and stronger.” Rumors of the Canucks pursuing Lightning forward Ryan Malone have popped up before.

6. In 2010, Luongo won a gold medal for Team Canada – a team that was put together by current Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

7. Luongo’s wife, Gina, is from Florida and they have two young children together. Remember, the Canucks can’t trade Luongo anywhere they want – he’s got a no-movement clause which he’ll have to waive first. The Panthers also make sense if family is a significant factor; however, they’ve got top prospect Jacob Markstrom waiting in the wings.

8. Luongo would be the undisputed starter on the Lightning. There’s no blue-chipper like Cory Schneider in the system. (Which is another reason Yzerman might be interested.)

9. If Luongo’s sick of the media and fan attention he gets in Vancouver, Tampa Bay would offer a welcome respite.

10. Tampa Bay would provide Luongo a better chance to win than Columbus or Toronto, two other teams that need goaltending.

Related: Luongo: I’ll waive my no-trade clause

  1. kitshky - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    So judging by your recent performance on “Top 10 Reasons Why” lists … Luongo’s going to Minnesota?

    (a’zinng!)

    • Jason Brough - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Whatever. I still think the Penguins will win the Stanley Cup this year.

    • emoser - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      beat me to it

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    It certainly seems like his most likely destination. This is a team that finished 6 points out of a playoff spot with virtually no goaltending. Luongo would make them a legit Cup contender.

    • DTF31 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      The Bolts were a Luongo away from probably being able to finish 2nd.

  3. rca26 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Malone probably doesn’t waive, and Yzerman is not a GM that deals in desperation (given his history thus far). That contract is garbage and everyone knows it, but if Luongo does go to Tampa it’s probably for a mediocre pick/prospect and a return cap dump (Ohlund).

    The market for Luongo is just not burgeoning enough to necessitate much more than that. Maybe if he’d waive anywhere it’d be different (but let’s be serious), but if the price gets much higher than that, Yzerman probably yields.

    • kitshky - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      None of us have crystal balls so obvioulsy this won’t be settled with the luxury of time, but …

      If you look at Luongo’s history and resume, his abilities, and his age and refuse to admit that he would have an immediate positive impact (both in the regular season and the playoffs) then you are blinded by a prejudice. The contract issue has been covered in every possible media outlet, blogs/print/radio/tv, and if you still want to view it as an immovable “10 year contract” then nothing is goin to change your opinion … certainly not facts.

      From this perspective and at this point in time, it’s without question that if you’re looking for a deal that would be ideal for the players involved, the teams involved, and the Ownership’s involved .. then Brough is spot on.

      • rca26 - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        Just read over my comment, still looking for where I said he wouldn’t have an immediate positive impact. If you can find it for me, let me know.

        Only saying that the contract is a sticking point here (what media facts do you want to give me to change my opinion – crossing your fingers and hoping he retires after 7 years? There’s no out clause, only relaxations on the NTC). Tampa Bay is already saddled with Lecavalier through 2022, so they’d probably think twice before tacking another big ol marathon contract.

        Basically my point is that if everyone has agreed Tampa Bay is the only logical place, and that it’s the place Lu would agree to go, then why would they give up anything of value for him? Who are they even bidding against? Just because Tampa is the perfect match for Luongo doesn’t mean Luongo is the perfect match for Tampa.

        But you’re right. None of us have a crystal ball. We’ll see what happens. This is just an educated opinion from someone who knows Tampa’s situation.

      • kitshky - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        Well I apologize for putting words in your mouth if I did … that being said, if you can appreciate the value that Luongo would bring to a team like Tampa Bay then his contract is hardly the “garbage that everyone knows” it to be.

        Take into consideration it’s actually a 6 year $5.3 million contract, compare the $5.3 to not only the existing Salary Cap but also to what percentage of future Salary caps (which logically when taking into consideration past Cap history, basic inflation, and the projected dollar value of his contract would be much much less of an issue than it is today) his salary would take up … and you have a pretty easy equation to swallow.

        Include the point made in the article about the added revenue acquiring Luongo could potentionally bring to a Sunbelt franchise, the possibility of shedding some cap space in whoever is decided is coming the other way, and the deal actually starts to make some financial sense.

        My point was (which I’ll concede may have included a little hasty worded assumption that you didnt recognize Luongo’s value) that for so many people to get stuck with the perception of his contract being some Albatross that will limit the Canucks to getting “a mediocre pick/prospect and a return cap dump (Ohlund).” is simply shortsighted.

        (and I’ll concede that in the end we can have different opinions, I wasnt jumpin down your throat)

    • thearabiangoat - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      Ignorance bothers me more than anything I read on hockey forums. Luongo’s contract allows for full movement by whatever team he is with after the 8th year (6 years from now) so essentially whoever takes Luongo can have him on the books for 6 years at 5.33 million (cap hit) and then stick him in the minors if he doesn’t want to retire at 38 and actually only pay him slightly over $6 million for the final 4 years.

      Now, given the price of starting goaltenders, that actually isn’t ‘garbage’ as you refer to it. If.

      • rca26 - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Fully aware of that 8th year clause. Doesn’t fully absolve the contract.

        Difference of opinion =/= ignorance.

        Keep firing away, though.

  4. rca26 - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    PHT planet must be a fickle bunch. Check out the comments on this article from yesterday:

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/24/one-vancouver-paper-is-picking-out-places-to-trade-roberto-luongo/

    What a difference a day makes.

  5. xxakshunxx - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Wasn’t the last “10 reasons why” about how the Penguins were gonna win the Stanley Cup?

  6. solador78 - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    The Bolts should sign Albert Haynesworth to play goal before considering a trade for Luongo.

    The big guy probably still has his condo from last season in TB.

  7. northstars17 - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I’d like to see Schnieder go to Tampa Bay instead… doesn’t that make more sense?

    • leepetertk - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      depends on who vancouver is willing to trade or if Yzerman can force Schneider to come via his RFA status.

      It makes more sense that Cory Schneider might be more valuable. TBL has a stack of draft picks and some prospects to offer Vancouver. However acquiring Schneider will still require opening up some cap space. Losing an undesirable contract, if Malone is it (not saying it is), while acquiring Luongo might be a double win for TBL.

  8. blomfeld - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Luongo goes to Tampa Bay for the reasons specifically outlined by point # 7 …

  9. johart52 - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    The last time PHT used “10 Reasons” it was for the Pens to win the Stanley Cup, look how that turned out. Luongo probably won’t end up in TB either.

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