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Where could he go? A look at some of Luongo’s potential destinations

Jul 7, 2012, 6:55 PM EDT

Zdeno Chara ; Roberto Luongo AP

Roberto Luongo wants to move on and the Vancouver Canucks have every reason to want to accommodate him.

They recently signed Cory Schneider to a three-year/$12 million extension, so their options are either to trade Luongo or enter the season with over $9 million in cap space dedicated to their goaltending.

So what are the cities that might be vying for Luongo’s services? Let’s take a look at the three big ones:

The Florida Panthers — Luongo previously spent five seasons with the Panthers and he seems very warm to the idea of returning.

Florida reportedly isn’t put off by the fact that Luongo’s contract runs through 2021-22. However, the Panthers became less of an ideal candidate when they re-signed Scott Clemmensen.

Another factor is that the Panthers already have a promising young goaltending prospect in Jacob Markstrom, who might be ready to lead the team in a couple years.

None of that means that the Panthers don’t have any interest in Luongo anymore, but they’re in a strong negotiating position and I don’t think they’ll agree to a Luongo trade unless they’re very comfortable with the cost.

Toronto Maple LeafsThere was an earlier report that suggested that Luongo wouldn’t play for Toronto or Chicago. However, Canucks GM Mike Gillis recently denied that report, according to the Vancouver Province.

James Reimer is coming off a rough year, which has put some pressure on Leafs GM Brian Burke to acquire a goaltender. All the same, Reimer does have the potential to bounce back and become a solid starter. If the Leafs trade for Luongo, they would be essentially giving up on Reimer given Luongo’s contract length and that’s not necessarily to their benefit in the long run.

Chicago Blackhawks — At first glance, this is a very similar situation to the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to the Chicago Tribune, Luongo has expressed a willingness to play for Chicago.

Corey Crawford is coming off of a disappointing sophomore campaign and that’s put some pressure on Chicago to make a change. Like the Leafs, acquiring Luongo would mean giving up on using Crawford as their long-term starter.

The difference is that Chicago is a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup now while Toronto isn’t likely at that stage yet even with Luongo. He’s 33-year-old, so as it is, he’s slipping out of his prime and thus sending him to a rebuilding team might prove to be counterproductive. That’s not an issue with the Blackhawks.

  1. jpat2424 - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Stan bowmen better not make that trade or he and bobby Lou will be run out of town

    • tangentmechanic - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      You should be sure to remember that the next time you feel like booing Crow.

  2. scottybcboy - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I understand why Bobby Lu has such a bad rap…….but seriously, he is an upgrade on 75% of teams. In Toronto he gets them into the playoffs, in Chicago he wins them the division, in FLA he wins them the division……..he is a way more valuable addition than Ryan or Nash, because of position. Why people are so quick to devalue him is beyond my comprehension. All this coming from a B’s fan, lol.

    • jaybertx - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      As a Lightning fan, I’m just glad that he didn’t end up there. He’s a nice goaltender during the regular season but a headcase when it comes to the playoffs — I think the quick hook he got this year had a lot to do with his history during their run the year before.

      • scottybcboy - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        Headcase in the playoffs? Game 7 of the final not enough for you? Further than Lundqvist, Miller, Price, etc. Even early in his Canuck tenure he was the team…..Vigneault even said the fate of the team was in Lu’s hands…..he has never lost in the 1st round! Sorry, it just grinds my gears the lack of respect this guy gets.

      • odj810 - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        He won gold as an Olympian. I don’t like the guy but he takes alot of unnecessary heat. he’s a pretty damn good goalie. You can make the same argument about Schneider. Just ask anyone who follows college hockey in the northeast, he had a history of cracking under pressure. I don’t really believe in that garbage to much. Thomas let up some costly goals in previous playoffs before he dominated in 2011. All it takes is a good bounce to get your confidence back and you can right the ship. He would help out most teams.

      • jaybertx - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:08 AM

        Ok, so you guys were passionate enough about this that I went back and looked at his career playoff stats and they aren’t as bad as I thought:

        2006-2007 CANUCKS 12 5 7 0.941 1.77
        2008-2009 CANUCKS 10 6 4 0.914 2.52
        2009-2010 CANUCKS 12 6 6 0.895 3.22
        2010-2011 CANUCKS 25 15 10 0.914 2.56
        2011-2012 CANUCKS 2 0 2 0.891 3.59

        However what I also noticed is what I based my previous comment on — a total lack of consistency. Luongo will put up a zero one night and then let 8 in the next two but then put up a shutout the next. While you’ll definitely take the wins, it’s not something that truly instills confidence that he will be there when you need him.

  3. ray2013 - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    I thought Reimer played well until he got a concussion. If this was the first year of Burke’s tenure, they could just go with Reimer and see if he could bounce back. But this could be the last year of Burke’s tenure, so he’ll probably do try to get a top goalie to give him more time. It’s a no-lose proposition for Burke. If it works, he gets to stay and keep building. If it fails, then it’s going to be someone else’s mess to clean up.

    If I was MG, I’d probably want to trade with Burke, just because he is more desperate to do a deal compared to Bowman or Tallon.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Reimer is only 24 years old so I dont think it’s fair to say they would be giving up on him if they get Luongo. If the new CBA allows teams trading players to eat salary then they could just ship Luongo out when Reimer is ready. If not then he might become the highest paid backup in the league or we might just replay this whole scenario again.

  5. drew1969 - Jul 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    The oilers are need of a #1 goalie and have plenty of prospects.Not sure if they would be willing to take on that salary though.

    • ray2013 - Jul 8, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      I’ve heard this a few times. I can’t see why the Canucks would give the Oilers a guaranteed number one goalie for the next six to ten years, even if Tambellini offered Klefbom and their 2013 #1 pick. They want to send him to the Eastern Conference would be my guess.

      • odj810 - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        I think if the oilers offered the best deal they would make that deal. You have to improve your team above all else. You can get in trouble trying to ignore teams. Can you imagine if the bruins didn’t make the kessel deal because it was in there division.

      • ray2013 - Jul 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        I guess if the Oilers did offer Klefbom and the #1, they take it. But I haven’t heard any talk of the Oilers going after him. There was talk about Schneider before he signed, because he’s young and could build with the team but no real excitement for Luongo. And they already have Dubnyk! lol

      • odj810 - Jul 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        yea i don’t make the move if im’ the oilers at all. I just was making the point as to trading in the division isn’t a big deal if that trade is the best deal for your team. Let the oilers kids grow together. They have some serious young talent.

  6. blomfeld - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    “So what are the cities that might be vying for Luongo’s services?” …

    1) Florida
    2) Florida
    3) Florida
    4) Florida
    5) Florida
    6) Florida
    7) Florida
    8) Florida
    9) Florida

    nonetheless, I’m still not convinced that Tampa Bay is out of the mix ? … we’ll see though, eh ? :) and don’t worry all you Luongo lovers … your man will do just fine in the end, regardless …

    • warrenlevine - Jul 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Aren’t all those guys -um- deceased?

  7. niubears - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    If he puts on a Blackhawks sweater and wins, my hatred for him will vanish. The past is the past and he’ll make the Hawks better.

  8. cloudniner9 - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    scottybcboy is completely right, Luongos stats speak for themselves and he is an elite goalie, he just needs a team that can back him up, unless you expect him to score the goals too.
    Hope he wins a cup with his next team just to spite those canuck fans who blamed him for the game 7 loss when his team never scored a single goal.

  9. xaf605 - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    I dont like this grease ball either but he is a step up from crawford

    • warrenlevine - Jul 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Keep the f**king ethnic slurs in your sick little brain, xaf605. You could find yourself greased one day if you don’t watch your filthy mouth.

  10. warrenlevine - Jul 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Luongo is a quality, first-tier goaltender, and he can’t singlehandedly win a Cup for the Can’tucks because THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET!!! I sat in the 3rd row on the Canucks’ side, in the corner, and had a good look at the absolute defeat on their faces as they changed lines in Game 7 last year, you know – the prequel to the riots.

    Those Canuck faces didn’t show resolve — get the goddamn puck in the net, guys — they showed full defeat, surrender. To quote Lily von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles: Verfallen! Verlumpt! Verblunget! Verkackt! They might as well have been the goddamn French Army.

    Simply put, it ain’t Luongo’s fault. Blame the Sssedin ssssisssterssss. Blame Alain Vigneault, blame Mike Gillis, blame the Aquilinis — more than anyone, blame the freakin’ Aquilinis; Don Cherry’s dog knows hockey better than those idiots, and he’s got better manners.

    Just DON’T lay it on Louie ’cause it ain’t his friggin’ fault. The guy could be Patrick Roy if he had a little more attitude and a team in front of him that could put the biscuit in the basket.

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