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Reports: Panthers, Blackhawks lead latest Roberto Luongo trade rumors

Jun 24, 2012, 7:48 PM EDT

Florida Panthers vs Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks didn’t trade Roberto Luongo during the draft weekend, but reports indicate that there was at least some discussion. From two separate reports, it appears that the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers were among the most interested parties.

(Admit it, you have “Chelsea Dagger” in your head now, too.)

Let’s start with the bizarre spectacle that would be Luongo suiting up for a city that tormented him as much as any has* in the last few years. Aaron Portzline provided this fascinating (if murky) Tweet about Luongo being traded to Chicago:

“Don’t know where this stands now, but over #NHLdraft weekend I heard G Roberto Luongo to Chicago, if the #Blackhawks could make $$$ work.”

CapGeek’s chart reveals that Chicago would have $8.23 million in cap space if the ceiling is $70.3 million next season. They also have two goalies under contract – Corey Crawford ($2.67 million cap hit) and Ray Emery ($1.15 million) – who could theoretically be part of such a move. Luongo’s $5.33 million cap hit could be pretty manageable since the Blackhawks don’t have significant players to re-sign, but obviously they might want to target a free agent or two and they’d certainly need to make sure such a lengthy commitment would be worth it.

Panthers reunion?

The other major bit of rumbling revolves around a potential reunion between the Florida Panthers and Luongo. As you may recall, Luongo toiled in Florida for years before being traded to Vancouver. He still has family out there, so it makes sense that Harvey Fialkov and others are reporting that there’s some interest from both sides.

Panthers GM Tallon has kicked the tires with Canucks about Luongo but reports of deal are, “pure speculation.”

A deal would make sense – at least in the short-term. Jose Theodore only has a year left on his deal while Scott Clemmensen is a free agent, so there would be an immediate opening for Luongo. (Theodore isn’t that far removed from backup duty, either.)

On the other hand, Jacob Markstrom waits in the wings as perhaps the best goalie not currently in the NHL. If the Panthers nabbed Luongo, it’s not crazy to imagine Markstrom becoming “the next” Cory Schneider down the line.

***

Still, both situations make enough sense that they could happen. So far, though, it seems like they only “almost” happened.

* Aside from his own fans in Vancouver, perhaps.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Tallon said he won’t give up anything worthwhile to get Luongo so that might stand in the way of a deal getting done. As for Luongo to Chicago? That’s just silly.

  2. jpat2424 - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    No way. Don’t want him in Chicago. Don’t do it Stan

    • pone27 - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Agreeing with you jpat.. While I would love to Luongo over Crawford or Emery, no way do is he worth his cap hit..

      Go a different direction Stan, find a 2nd line center please!

      • kitshky - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:53 AM

        Big contract … but don’t forget the cap hits only $5.3.

  3. pastabelly - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Two places you won’t see Luongo are Chicago or Boston.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      Unless the Canucks are sure he’s done, much like the Eagles and the McNabb trade it would be horrible to trade your enemy a broken down horse.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:45 AM

        I meant wouldn’t be horrible to give your enemy a broken down horse.

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    You almost feel bad for any team that picks him up…almost. Might do him good to go to Florida. Less media pressure.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I don’t think there’s anyway the Canucks and Blackhawks will make a significant trade (at least until the bad blood between the two teams settles down) but at the same time it would be awesome to see him go to Chicago and beat the Canucks in the playoffs, the only thing better would be the Canucks missing the playoffs!

  6. freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    I vote for the offer sheet from BB, as suggested by Damien Cox (http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2012/06/canucks-dont-yet-hold-all-the-cards.html).
    That would be fun.

  7. fahmundamahbalsaq - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Luongo is a heartless puke and based on that alone Toronto makes perfect sense for him! LEAFS SUCK

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