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Report: Florida remains “frontrunner” for Roberto Luongo

Jun 28, 2012, 9:10 PM EDT

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While Vancouver Canucks starter-to-be Cory Schneider says he’ll take his time to sign a new deal, the team probably wants to get that whole Roberto Luongo mess cleaned up sooner rather than later. Darren Dreger provides the latest update on that front: the Florida Panthers remain the “frontrunner.” The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, appear to be lagging behind.

Bob McKenzie paraphrases Dreger as such:

Insider Trading hilites: @DarrenDreger says dialogue continues between FLA and VAN on Luongo. Not so much TOR and VAN. FLA frontrunner.

Plenty has been made of the Panthers’ interest in bringing back Luongo; it’s even clear that the team’s ownership seems OK with his lengthy, risky contract. It appears that Luongo wants to go back to Florida, too, as a report surfaced that he wouldn’t accept a swap to two other interested parties in Toronto and the Chicago Blackhawks.

From a short-term perspective, Luongo’s cat reunion makes a lot of sense. With all due respect to Jose Theodore, they don’t have a clear No. 1 heading into next season and will probably need to beef up their payroll. It also allows the Panthers to give budding prospect Jacob Markstrom more time to develop, although some might believe that his time has come.

That’s really the biggest problem with dealing for Luongo beyond the obvious “contract that runs through 2021-22″ issue, though. Perhaps that’s a problem the Panthers are willing to put off, then.

  1. loinstache - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I don’t know much about Florida’s prospects, although I know that I have liked a lot of players exchanged between the two teams (both to and from). What are possible pieces on FLA’s side?

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      Florida’s usually said to have had the best crop of prospects (not sure where they sit after this draft), and I’m pretty sure they also had the most prospects in the last U-19 tournament. I doubt they’d trade Howden, Gudbrandson, Huberdeau or Grimaldi, or even Bjugstad, but they have a whole slew of other good young players. It might be a good long term trade for Vancouver to stock up a bit for the future. After all, Kesler and the Sedins aren’t going to last forever.

  2. sjsharks66 - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    I heard Florida has the best goalie prospect in the league. Why take on Roberto’s contract if this kid can be just as good, or maybe even better?

    • johnguelff - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Jacob Markstrom is the be goalie prospect in the world by far..i dont know why theyd take on luongo ..seems like itll be another vancouver situation with lou and young markstrom in a year or so…

      wings fan

      • johnguelff - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

        best*

  3. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Roberto going to Florida will just find himself in the same position 2 years from now with Markstrom. Which I suppose is fine for the Panthers, Markstrom is only 22 there is no rush to throw 40 plus games at him until he is 24-25 anyway, but Roberto must be smart enough to know that this is what his future will be for him in Florida. If he goes to Chicago or Toronto now he will most likely finish in one of those places.

  4. blomfeld - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    YESTERDAY’S PAPERS ?

    With all due respect to the Panthers and Lightning and their good intentions, I do sincerely believe that they’d be well advised to steer clear of this toxic mess. Luongo is essentially the NHL’s equivalent to Greek Sovereign debt, which nobody wants to buy … and nor should they.

  5. leepetertk - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    If Florida wants to trade some salary back to Vancouver, any suggestions on who FLA wants to dump?

    • blomfeld - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:22 AM

      maybe the stick boy ? …

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