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Luongo wants to be traded to the Panthers, but willing to explore alternatives

Sep 4, 2012, 2:43 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

Roberto Luongo hopes to be traded to the Florida Panthers where he can be close to his family. However, he’s not refusing to consider other destinations.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel caught up with Vancouver’s soon-to-be-former goalie today at the Panthers’ practice facility in Coral Springs.

“[Florida] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family,” said Luongo. “That being said. There’s obvious other options as well. This is a preferred location for obvious reasons but I’m not shutting the door on other possibilities if it comes up.”

Luongo met his wife, with whom he has two children, while he was a member of the Panthers and still calls Florida home in the offseason.

Armed with a no-trade clause, the 33-year-old would have to accept any deal the Canucks craft.

Besides Florida, Toronto and Chicago are two other teams that may be interested in acquiring his services (and lengthy contract).

Likewise, Toronto and Chicago are two destinations Luongo may be willing to go. (Unlike, say, Columbus.)

That Luongo is willing to explore alternatives to his first choice, Florida, may underscore his desire to leave Vancouver and avoid a situation where he’s still technically a member of the Canucks when training camp starts.

In an odd twist, current Panthers goalie Jose Theodore took to the ice right after Luongo finished his skate.

Both Theodore and Scott Clemmensen, the team’s other goalie under contract, have said it’s useless to speculate about what could happen.

Theodore has, however, said he hopes to retire a Panther. The 35-year-old has a no-trade clause of his own, so theoretically he could refuse a move to Vancouver (or anywhere else) should he be asked.

Related: Theodore thinks Canucks aren’t rushing to trade Luongo amid labor uncertainty

  1. loinstache - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    The FLA option is such a mess in my opinion. Luo has made public his desire, decreasing Canucks haggling options. They currently have an up and coming ‘tender in Markstrom who has upswing as a starter, further crowding their crease.

    Despite the flak he’s received, Luongo absolutely does not deserve to go wherever he pleases by forcing Gillis to make a compromised trade.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      At every opportunity Luongo has acknowledged his (obvious) preference for Florida but also gone out of his way to point out that he’s interested in other options as well – without limiting the Canucks options by specifically naming them.

      I don’t have any problem with the way Lou’s conducted himself over the past several months, a player who a team has decided to move on could be vastly less graceful that Roberto’s been. It just speaks to his class and integrity as a player and person, in my opinion.

      But, like usual, his unwillingness to repeat boring cliches has some vastly overblowing his words.. which is pretty much the story of his life over the last few years.

      As for Jakob Markstrom in Florida, he is an extremely bright prospect.. but he is years away from being an NHL starter and he’s already showing signs of wear – who knows whether he is ever a marquee, 60+ game starter in this league?

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        And I might add, the Canucks gave Luongo a no trade clause and are several years away from the team initiated out clause the two parties agreed to – the team is very much obliged to find Luongo an acceptible destination if he is going to waive his no trade clause.

        They could always threaten to waive him, but that is bush league – like, Len Barrie and Oren Koules bush league.

      • loinstache - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think beneath all of the professionalism lays the fact that Luo initiated a request for a trade. Any formalities of the no trade clause can be disregarded; the original party who didn’t want movement wants to be moved (understandable considering the Schneider deal). I admire how both Luo and the Canucks administration have handled this situation, but I worry that this entire Luo and FLA talk may hurt the return Vancouver would get.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        Honestly I think what’s going to hurt his value is his deal and the fact that probably 20+ starting goaltender jobs are sewn up already, and that many teams that could look to upgrade might not be able to afford a $6.7m upgrade, or even if they can to eat the value if their current starter’s deal.

        The trade market is just different for goaltenders, but I’m confident that eventually someone will meet the asking price. It just might not be as soon as Brough implies.

  2. arrooo - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Piss him off and trade him to the Islanders

  3. buffalomafia - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Philly needs a goalie?

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