Skip to content

Report: Panthers “getting ready for the return of Roberto Luongo”

Jun 29, 2012, 2:26 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, the “word on the street” has the Florida Panthers “internally getting ready for the return of Roberto Luongo.”

It’s not clear how they’re “internally getting ready” (activating his key fob? setting up his 401(k)? just cleaning up around the rink a bit?), but it’s sounding more and more like Luongo will be traded soon.

That the Vancouver Canucks just signed Cory Schneider to a three-year, $12 million contract may be another clue a deal is close.

So…if Luongo is indeed returning to his old team, what goes the other way? A top prospect? A bad contract? Both?

  1. sharksfan754 - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    There is no way Florida should be giving up a top prospect of a top pick for luongo. I still believe luongo is good but his contract is outrageous. Tallon would be doing Vancouver and gillis a big favor by taking it, so why the hell would they need to throw in some blue chips makes no sense. I do think luongo is worth something in return but nowhere near the current rumored asking price

    • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      What do you think about Tomas Kopecky coming back the other way for Vancouver? His cap hit is 3 million a year and the Canucks need a 3rd line center now. The evens out the salary situation pretty well to the point where Florida is only taking on an extra 2.33 million a year for Luongo’s services. Does that sound marketable?

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Well the Canucks won’t be getting Markstrom or Huberdeau that’s for sure. The Panthers would probably rather give up Rocco Grimaldi but the Canucks would most likely prefer Nick Bjugstad or Quinton Howden.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      if the Nucks get anything in the deal more than a 5th round pick, I will be screaming… if they somehow get Bjugstad. I will break down the walls!!!!!

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        LOL I would too if I was a Panther fan. I wouldn’t budge on Bjugstad or Howden.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        All I know is the Canucks leverage is going to dwindle fast once the Kings trade Bernier, whihc they said they would try to do once the Quick extension was done.

  3. freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I think Vancouver should add a top prospect as an incentive to take this ridiculous contract.
    What will they do with Markstrom when he’s a legit starter, and still have 5 yrs at high salary (plus 3 yrs drop-off) from Lou’s contract to chew on? That looks like a stupid move.

    • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      You’re nuts if you think the Canucks are gonna trade Luongo and a top prospect to get a meteocre prospect and some draft picks. If that happens, the Canucks are gonna look at Huberdeau extensively. The deal will likely include a bad contract coming back to Vancouver to even out the ridiculousness. You guys fail to realize that Florida’s goaltending is Lisa poor and Luongo would help it. Florida needs a goalie, Vancouver needs to get rid of one. It’s as simple as that.

      • heatwave954 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        You’re absolutely crazy if you think the nucks have a chance at Huberdeau and no we dont need a goalie when we have Theodore for another year who put up almost identical numbers to Luongo last year and Markstrom waiting in the wings.You are really uninformed.

        Roberto Luongo VAN 55 127 2.41 1577 .919 5 0 31 14 8 3162 57:29 4 0 1
        Jose Theodore FLA 53 125 2.46 1502 .917 3 0 22 16 11 3049 57:32 2 0 0

      • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        I simply said that the Canucks would look at Huberdeau if Dale Tallon asked about the likes of Jensen, Schroeder, Connauton or Gaunce. Obviously Huberdeau is going to be one of the faces for that franchise and it’s flabbergasting if Gillis asked about Huberdeau now. But if people in Florida want to get a blue chip prospect as well as Luongo, be willing to give one up yourself.

  4. michiganhockey11 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    They don’t have a whole lot of other options but to land Luongo.

    Unless they want to persuade Johnny Vanbiesbrouck out of retirement.

  5. jmebro - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    For all you idiots that think Luongos contract is outrageous…news flash dummies! His cap hit is only 5.3 million for next 4 years,then it’s less than 2 million for rest. There are so many worse goalie contracts out there.! Can you say Bryzgalov,and he sucks! At least Lou will get you in playoffs and make the owners more rich! I hate what Vancouver did to Lou! Go Lou! Hope you win the cup in another city, and wear it on your middle finger just for Vancouver!!

    • btaberle - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      The salary changes but the cap hit does not.

      • danphipps01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Although on that note, Florida could quite comfortably handle that cap hit for quite some time, and if Luongo’s numbers continue to slowly dwindle, which they will (especially considering the difference in quality of team defense this jump will entail), he’s eventually going to have to accept he’s not quite starter-calibre anymore. At that point, he’ll only be making two million a year, and if the Panthers aren’t spending near to the cap, they could probably keep him on as Markstrom’s #2.

  6. ikillchicken - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    True. However, the cap hit means very little to Florida. They’re not a team that spends to the cap and in all likelihood never will be. It’s all about the real dollars for them. Hence, Florida is essentially getting a goalie on a six year deal at 6.7 Mil a year. The four years after that are virtually meaningless.

    For a top calibre goalie (and yes, despite all the dramatics, Luongo is still a very good goalie) that’s a fairly reasonable deal. Is there still risk? Sure. There’s always risk that a high priced player signed long term. But is it some horrible albatross of a contract that Florida is doing Vancouver a favour by taking? No way. Not even close.

  7. soluongo - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Thank you, thank you Panthers, the real (knowlegeable) Canuck’s fans are sick of the polished turd AKA Luongo. We were hoping he was going to go to Toronto so we could watch him crap the bed every Saturday night on Hockey Night In Canada. We don’t get too many Panther games up here but I’m sure we will see the riots on CNN. Your GM is a bigger ass clown than Gillis. We have nothing against Floridians so don’t hate us hate the player. We did and he finally agreed to leave town. Unless all your Dmen are willing to block 30 shots per game you guys aren’t making the playoffs with Luongo.

  8. soluongo - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    If Gillis can pull this deal off and acquire talent at the same time…he will go from worst to first in GM rankings.

    • nichis01 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      gillis is one of the best GM’s in the league hands down. He’s turned the Canucks into a binaries contender every year, and he’s been able to build the farm team in doing so. That’s all you can ask for from your GM,

      • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        no, you could actually ask for the Stanley Cup … and in that regard, your man Gillis has failed miserably … not to mention the fact that he’s maintained a very “cold” and “anti-social” presence with the media and fans here in Vancouver …

  9. sergeikremlin - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    For the whole “why get Luongo and his lifetime contract when you have Markstrom waiting in the wings” argument, Markstrom is far from proven or a lock to be a star #1 tender.

    His NHL numbers to-date are 2-5-1, with a 2.83 GAA and .890 SV% and he just hasn’t played enough games to move forward with him as “the guy” while ignoring other options. The Panthers will be lucky if this guys develops into a Cory Schneider-type player, but with his temper and sporadic play, who really can say. They certainly can’t balk at a deal for a true, proven #1 in hopes that that time is now for Markstrom.

    I’d also hedge a bet that the Panthers enjoyed passing the buck to the Leafs for longest playoff drought in the NHL, and I’m sure the owners enjoyed that playoff revenue and division champs banner in the arena.

    Tallon likely wants to keep the winning ways and playoff appearances rolling, and securing a #1 like Luongo, with Markstrom continuing to develop, is a great situation to have on your hands. If the kid turns into an elite goalie in the next couple years, great. If he doesn’t, you’re “stuck” with an all-star goalie as your #1 who could very well return to a Vezina contender with this fresh start.

  10. sergeikremlin - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    In regards to possible pieces moving back to VAN if this deal happens…

    The big guys – Kopecky, Matthias, Bradley & Smithson are all over 6’3 and 200 + lbs, fitting the Canucks need for big powerful forwards in the bottom 6. Bradley will be bought out Saturday if not traded though.

    The connections – Jovanovski is a former fan favourite Canuck, who is also a big body, while Santorelli & Smithson are from Vancouver and Vernon, BC, respectively.

    The expendables – Jack Skille is a player Tallon drafted and then traded for, but maybe his time is up after failing to stay healthy or excel at the NHL level, seven years after being a first-round pick.

    Scottie Upshall also has struggled with injuries in two of the last three seasons, and carries a 3.5 M cap hit for three more years. Tallon may like his character, and helping him get to the cap floor, but he is certainly more expendable than the core of Weiss, Fleischmann, & Versteeg.

    We`ll see what the Canucks first ever draft pick has up his sleeve.

  11. kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    For all the blathering on about this “ridiculous” contract …

    At this point, with the rising salary cap and current contracts being signed, Luongo’s $6.7 pay cheque and $5.3 cap hit are already looking more and more reasonable. Add on the fact that there’s a buy out clause in 6 years … take into consideration that this contract will only appear less and less of an issue with each passing year, consider the talent you’re getting …and it’s pretty far from “ridiculous”.

  12. soluongo - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    From some of the posts I can tell you guys don’t watch too many Canuck’s games. Luongo was the reason they lost the cup and not the reason they got as far as they did. He let 8 goals in in a SCF game. He’s old and slow and will only play in a city where his wifey lives. All the turd polish stores in Vancouver are closing their doors and looking at Florida to set up shop. You guys are going to be so pissed off by December (remember he has notoriously bad Octobers and Novembers) when a playoff spot is in doubt. Elite goalies don’t need 2 months to get their act together. I can’t wait to see him in another jersey. The Leafs was my first choice but I guess Burke isn’t a sucker. Sorry Panther fans but there is no fix for old and slow. Wait until you see his fall on his belly move he uses on breakaways…its magic!

    • interiorfan - Jun 30, 2012 at 9:39 AM


    • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      I know I shouldn’t bother replying to stupid comments like this but … you are everything that’s wrong with Vancouver hockey fans.

      Luongo was not the reason they lost the Cup, they ran out of gas and couldn’t score. That’s why they lost the Cup.

      Roberto Luongo is hands down (with absolutely zero reasonable debate) the greatest goaltender that has ever played for this organization, and you’re ignorant ramblings just because ya don’t like the guy does nothing but confirm that …

      • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        “the greatest goaltender that has ever played for this organization” ? …

        Sorry friend, but I would beg to differ. Both King Richard and Captain Kirk were “vastly” superior goaltenders and you should know that … and please do not retort with the “Luongo Stats” argument. Had either of the former decked themselves out like a 4×8′ plywood sheet in goal as Luongo does, then they too would have amassed “Michelin Man” type statistics in their careers ! The bottom line is that Luongo has been the “Achilles heel” of what is otherwise a terrific franchise … and he is completely “culpable” for the Canuck’s shortcoming’s in recent years. Among other things, Luongo is guilty of …

        – unbridled narcissism … “it doesn’t matter what team “I” win the cup on”
        – a failed captaincy … two fruitless years with no one at the helm
        – dereliction of duty … never could perform when it mattered most
        – cowardice … didn’t want to play this year in Boston or Chicago
        – financial fraud … the biggest balance sheet liability in Canuck’s history

        and so forth …

        Anyway, the stage has now been cleared for Cory Schneider to run the show and as an ardent LA KIngs fan, I have to say that that is “troubling” indeed. Schneider was the “best” we faced during our march to the Cup this year and therefore I’m now “concerned” about our prospects to repeat, should we meet the Canucks again next spring …

      • soluongo - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        They ran out of gas because of Luongo’s substandard performances. You do remember the 8-0 shelacing in the finals don’t you? How about him getting pulled while blowing a 3-0 games lead in the 1st round series against the Blackhawks? You’re absolutely right about them running out of gas and Luongo was the reason. I was a goalie and I coach goalies and I teach the kids not to do like Luongo. He stares down his dmen, he won’t take responsibity for poor performance, he over acts on routine saves, he fakes injury/contact with opposing players, touches the puck when not necessary to increase his assist chances and the best of all (which resulted in the Ducks scoring a series ending goal 5 years ago) he looks to the Ref for a call while the play is still going on. Old, slow and selfish, enjoy our former misery.

      • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        Oh my god … please stop living in the past. You will not find a bigger Kirk Mclean fan than myself (I’m pretty sure there’s still posters in my room at my parents place) but let’s get serious.

        You guys are spouting absolute and complete bias, you don’t like him … we get.

        @blomfeld …we’ve had this discussion before so there’s no need to repeat it, and besides you know I like you ha ha.

        @soluongo … I don’t care that you’ve played some goal in your life, or that you coach lil kids, the opinion and analysis of hockey and goaltending experts around the league hold much much more weight and the general consesus is that he’s (still) one of the best in the world. Not saying he’s #1 but he’s certainly in the top 10, maybe even top 5 still, so for you to paint him as completely useless just shows your bias.
        Everything you state about Luongo is your opinion (which no one can fault you on) but to completely ignore his positive statistic, which are nothing short of gaudy, and highlight things you don’t like him about him leaves your argument just …empty.

        Having said that, you’re clearly one of those guys that no matter what is said, or what fact / stat is highlighted will always hate Luongo so …there’s really no value in talking about it with you anymore.

      • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        “You best be leaving town” …

        I’m gonna level with you Kitshky by asking you one simple question …

        how many times after being scored upon, did you see Luongo throw his arms up while gazing towards the heavens, as if to say “am “I” the only one trying here” ? … 10 x times ? … 100 x times ? … 1000 times ?

        the bottom line is that Luongo “was, is and always” will be a narcissistic, childish, petulant, conceited, over-rated goaltender … and the Canucks owe the LA Kings a “world of gratitude” for bringing about about this “needed” changing of the guard …

    • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Soluongo – That’s a terrific analysis friend, as what you say is plain truth. Nonetheless, I do sympathize with Canuck fans somewhat, as it isn’t easy to acknowledge that something you invested in so heavily was a mistake in the end. But isn’t that the way with so much in life ? … through pain, comes joy … through sacrifice, comes victory. The bottom line however is that anyone defending Luongo today cannot be a real Canuck’s fan. Thanks to our glorious LA Kings, the Canucks are now finally able to rid themselves of this canker and go at it afresh with the “excellence” that is Cory Schneider ! :)

      *** special video selection for all the Luongo lovers … “it’ll be okay friends” …

  13. ironmike778 - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    When the heat is too hot you get out of the kitchen. Or in this case, you leave Canada and run to Florida to hide!!

  14. blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    What goes the other way ? … the answer to that is probably “nothing” !

    I know that the Luongo sycophants don’t want to hear that, but that’s likely the case. In fact, I can see the Canucks being compelled to include a couple of players “in addition” to Luongo, just to ensure that the taker doesn’t balk at the last minute. Another thing to consider is the fact that whatever deal is announced tomorrow, was already struck sometime ago … the same goes for pretty much all of the big deals announced on Free Agency day. These types of transactions are complex and take time to construct, therefore anyone thinking that they magically come together in the span of a few minutes on July 1st is only fooling themselves. I was convinced that Luongo was headed to Tampa from the start and I remain so now. The Florida angle is interesting, but in my opinion that’s just a clever feign. We’ll see shortly though, eh ?

    ps: you Canuck fans seriously owe the LA Kings big time ! … thanks to us, now you’re going to finally “make things right” at your back end ! … :)

  15. nichis01 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    P.S. you’re an idiot if you think that it’s because of the L.A. Kings that the Canucks are making changes to their back end. Schneider proved he’s capable of handling a number one role with a 20-8-1 record this year, compiled with a GAA that was ranked 3rd in the league, plus a save percentage that was ranked second behind your precious Quick. You deserve to have the same The Hangover movie clip posted to you to think that these moves are “spur of the moment” that the Canucks are making changes. As you said, these moves have been in the works for some time now, am I right?

    • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      No no no ! … you’re completely wrong !

      Here’s the deal friend. Your man Luongo was the Canuck’s “undisputed” # 1 goaltender at the start of the series against our glorious Kings. By the end of such series just a little over a week later however, your man Luongo had not only lost his job, but he was being chased out of town ! Now if that doesn’t warrant a mountain of gratitude from the Canucks for the Kings, then I honestly don’t know whatever would ?

      ps: my name is not “blonfeld” and I reject your malice … therefore please enjoy this catchy little number, which I understand is one of Roberta’s favorites ! :)

      • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        blomfeld … keep on point here.

        Luongo was *not* the undisputed #1 at the start of the series, and Luongo was the Canucks best player the two games he played in. Vancouver didn’t lose that series, or even the first two games, because of Luongo. The team was absolutely atrocious and LA was tight as a drum.

      • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Kitshky – I have to disagree friend … when Mike Richards “cheekishly” snapped that shot past Luongo from a bad angle in game one, the dye was cast for this fool’s demise … Luongo was indeed the “undisputed” # 1 Canuck’s goalie at the time, otherwise he wouldn’t have started the series … it’s as simple as that … and all this talk now about about “oh yeah, he wasn’t really our man” is nothing more than “revisionist” rhetoric from people who are nothing but “fair-weather and spineless” Canuck fans …

      • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        I am a fan of Roberto Luongo and would be completely comfortable moving forward w/ him between the posts …if it would come to that. No revisionist take here, I’m simply pointing out that there was so much debate about who should start the series in Vancouver that it was nauseating …

  16. nichis01 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    If you honestly think that on a contract year for Schneider that the Canucks weren’t weighing the possibility of keeping him and getting rid of Luongo, you my friend, are an idiot.

    • blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      “getting rid of Luongo” ? …

      anyone suggesting that 6 months ago here in Vancouver would have been torn to shreds, as I was 3 years ago for advocating that very point with my own friends … today however, while hiding behind the cover of “all” that has happened, you Luongo lovers now feel “emboldened” enough to cowardly clamor for the removal of your crest fallen hero ? … and you have the nerve to call me an idiot ? … suffice it to say pal that you’re very fortunate this exchange is only of an “electronic” nature … I don’t like Luongo one bit, never did … but what I really despise is cowardice and disloyalty …

      • ikillchicken - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:39 AM

        Six months ago!? Dude…are you sure you’re actually from Vancouver? Because there’s been a huge portion of fans clamouring for them to start Schneider and dump Luongo for over a year. In fact, even long before the loss to Boston all kinds of people were saying this. I don’t know how you can pretend this isn’t the case.

      • blomfeld - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:07 AM

        “are you sure you’re actually from Vancouver?” …

        Chicken Killer – Yes, Rogers Arena is about a 30 minute walk from my home here. And yes, there was a huge portion of the people here calling for Luongo to go 6 months ago … I should know as I was one of them. Nonetheless, we were still in the minority when compared to the overwhelming majority of Canuck “sheep” who constitute the hockey fan base in this city.

  17. charleslouis99 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    poor bbandwagon kings fan he does not know the error of his ways

    • blomfeld - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:15 AM

      Wrong again Louise ! … I’ve been a King’s fan for 39 years, so save the bandwagon jibberish for you and your Devils ! … I suspect that your problem is nothing more than a simple case of not watching enough Elvis ! … :)

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2081)
  2. P. Kessel (1523)
  3. M. Richards (1335)
  4. N. Backstrom (1234)
  5. M. Giordano (1137)