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Report: Luongo contract no problem for Florida ownership

Jun 26, 2012, 2:23 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has the okay from ownership to take on Roberto Luongo’s contract.

LeBrun made the comment today on Vancouver radio station Team 1040.

Luongo’s contract, which features a $5.3 million cap hit, runs through the end of the 2021-22 season — however, the last three seasons of the deal are for minimal salary and it’s highly likely the 33-year-old will retire before it expires.

Florida is believed to be Luongo’s preferred landing spot.

Of course, none of the above guarantees a trade. Tallon doesn’t want to part with a top prospect (like Nick Bjugstad) and Canucks GM Mike Gillis wants something significant in return.

  1. ray2013 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I get the posturing by Tallon. You have Gillis over a barrel if he wants to move Luongo’s contract; he wants to go to Florida or stay in Vancouver. If he stays in Vancouver, it makes things much more difficult dealing with Schneider. So Gillis has to move him.

    But since both teams are interested, I’d hope, as a hockey fan, they get together somewhere and make this trade official as soon as possible, so we don’t have to see repeated stories on this potential trade.

    • rob1986s - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I agree completely. However, I have a feeling this will get dragged out. GIllis is not afraid to ‘play chicken’ when it comes to decisions like these. He allowed the Sedins to get within an hour of free agency before he signed them in 2009.

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    So who does Vancouver get? Florida’s pantry is well stocked so I’m sure they could part with some of their prospects or perhaps picks for next year.

  3. davebabychreturns - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Nick Bjugstad is by no means one of Florida’s top prospects, although that says far more about the cats’ prospect depth than it does about Bjugstad.

    If I’m Mike Gillis I am pushing for a prospect of Bjugstad’s calibre at a minimum – and if Tallon does not want to open the top drawer to get a deal done then he needs to offer up two or three youngsters from the next tier.. the Quinton Howdens, Drew Shores, Alex Petrovics..

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      I’m not even sure how Luongo would benefit Florida that much. Florida’s GA last season was 227, so obviously there’s some room for improvement but is it worth giving up picks or potential top-6 O/top-4 D guys for an overpaid goalie who makes your cornhole pucker everytime he’s under pressure? Stay the course, Tallon. There will be bigger fish out there sooner or later.

      • davebabychreturns - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Well you obviously don’t think highly of Luongo but most around the league do despite comments from the peanut gallery (no offense but none of us are exactly insiders – I should hope).

        The Panthers did well this year but they are looking at losing one of their better defensive defensemen and Jose Theodore is super inconsistent on a year-to-year basis, here in late June we simply can’t say which version is going to show up in October or how long until the other version turns up.

        Nevermind the fact that Markstrom is almost certainly not ready and that most goaltenders take awhile to seize the #1 role even once they make it into the league (even guys like Carey Price), not to mention he’s already got some baggage in the form of injuries that may or may not impact his career going forward.

        You seem to just dislike Luongo, fair enough – but many seem to think that winning now is simply not important to a rebuilding team and I disagree. While kids like Huberdeau and Gudbranson will be the core of a winning team at some point, the transition will be much tougher if they have to learn how to win all on their own.

        Dale Tallon seems to agree with me, in his last job building a Stanley Cup winner he brought in high priced veteran talent (Khabibulin, Havlat) well before their young players were ready to become impact players.

        Whether he decides Luongo is the right player for the Panthers in this situation remains to be seen of course.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        I tend to question Luongo’s confidence more than his talent, and apparently others do too when gets sat so that Schneider can face the tough teams. Now, this may be Gillis giving Schneids the chance to prove himself but that’s speculation as well. The man gives me fits when he’s in situations like the one he found himself in during the last 5 minutes of the Canada-Slovakia game of the Olympics, and he seems to frequently end up on his belly after dishing out a fat rebound to the opposing squad. I’ll admit I didn’t watch as many Nucks games this year as I did last (too busy watching the Jets and Wild), but it would seem even his own organization didn’t always place their trust in him. Otherwise, I see your points, and you’re definitely right that a rebuilding team can also aim to be a winning team.

  4. hockeyflow33 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Schneider is still unproven. I’m not sure what the rush is to get rid of a proven number 1 starter.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      Ever heard of the Jennings Trophy?

      • violettdesire - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:01 AM

        The Jennings Trophy was won by both Luongo and Schneider. Schneider has yet to play 40 games during the regular season and has only ever won a single playoff game (of the three that he’s played). Is a talented goaltender with some serious potential? Certainly. But I also don’t think it’ll be long before the Canucks faithful turn against him (i.e., Luongo).

  5. kselvig - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I just don’t get this deal for Florida unless they’re ready to give up on Markstrom. I don’t think anyone who watched them last year thought “boy if they just had a different goalie…”. The problem for this team for years and years has been scoring. They finally have the pieces in the system that could bring some quality top line scoring, why would you risk losing a couple of those for an aging, expensive, slightly above average goalie?

  6. govtminion - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Totally honest, having seen what Florida did this past season, I’m not sure that they really need Luongo anyway. They did fine with what they had.

    That doesn’t mean Luongo wouldn’t be a huge improvement- he’s a step up past what all but maybe half a dozen teams can claim in net. But worth what the Panthers would have to give up in return? Probably not. Better to build up using the proven Tallon way than to gamble on a talented but baggage-laden goalie.

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