Skip to content

Luongo: ‘I thought my contract was untradable’

Mar 4, 2014, 7:09 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

To hear Roberto Luongo explain it, Tuesday’s blockbuster move to Florida never seemed possible.

“I thought my contract was untradable,” Luongo said, per the Miami Herald. “It hurt I didn’t play [Sunday vs. Ottawa in Heritage Classic] but I was ready to play tonight. I moved on, was ready to go.

“I wasn’t expecting this to happen, especially not today.”

The 34-year-old ‘tender was shipped to Florida in exchange for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias, with Vancouver retaining 15 percent of Luongo’s salary (a figure confirmed by Panthers GM Dale Tallon via conference call.) It was a big, bold trade that signified a changing of the guard for both organizations.

In discussing the move, Tallon praised Luongo as an “elite” goalie while acknowledging the Panthers needed to “make a statement.” On that, it’s worth noting Tallon repeatedly mentioned that Luongo still holds clout in Florida, a popular figure from his time with the organization from 2002-06.

“He’s excited, just over the moon about coming back,” Tallon said. “He’s already been in the community and is a very popular figure in the community.”

From the Florida perspective, the big narrative is how the organization took on one of the NHL’s largest deals — in what now feels like a move designed to “make a statement” in addition to improving the on-ice product. Tallon talked about how the Luongo acquisition “sets the tone” for what the club wants to do moving forward, echoing statements made yesterday by new team president Rory Babich, who spoke optimistically about the future of the franchise.

“We’re incredibly optimistic,” Babich said, per the Miami Herald. “[Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu] bought the team with the belief it can be very successful in South Florida. Dale and I certainly share that vision. That’s why we’re both here today.”

Luongo acknowledged what his move to Florida signified as well.

“It’s nice, it’s home,” he said. “It’s going to be a little tough to get in this season but we’ll have to deal with that. The new ownership there is committed to winning and there are some good young players there.

“This is a good opportunity for me.”

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 25, 2015, 2:55 PM EDT

    Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Strome AP

    New York, Nashville and Vancouver are all facing elimination today.

  2. Pens CEO says Johnston, Rutherford won’t be fired

    Apr 25, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT

    Mike Johnston Mike Johnston

    Both were in their first season with the hockey club.

  3. Report: Malkin invited to Worlds

    Apr 25, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Yevgeni Malkin #11 of Russia skates against Slovenia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

    He helped Russia win gold last year.

  4. Avs’ Landeskog underwent wrist surgery

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    Gabriel Landeskog Getty Images

    He declined an invite to the Worlds because of the injury.

  5. Jagr to play at World Championship

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr AP

    He announced his retirement from international competition nearly a year ago.

  6. Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:28 AM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    St. Louis couldn’t capitalize on an early lead.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Pittsburgh and Ottawa need to win to survive.

  8. Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:24 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    He didn’t get a point in the first round.

  9. Video: Prust sparks melee by spearing goalie Anderson

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Prust, Anderson

    Senators coach Dave Cameron called it “cheap” and a sign of frustration.

  10. It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpta0ntizmjbjndy3yti3nwe0nwfhnwy3odfjn2u2mwrm AP

    Evgeni Malkin finished the series without a point.

  11. Video: Tarasenko continues unreal run with sixth goal on nine shots

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT

    Vladimir Tarasenko

    Alexander Steen played a big role in that marker.

  12. Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    The odds of him playing were initially “50-50.”

  13. Video: Spaling gets unusual goal as puck bounces off arm

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:59 PM EDT

    Spaling goal

    That tied Game 5 between Pittsburgh and the Rangers at 1-1.

  14. Video: Ryan snaps 16-game goal scoring slump

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryan goal

    is that the start of a breakout for him?

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2785)
  2. S. Weber (2386)
  3. K. Letang (2353)
  4. M. Fisher (2191)
  5. A. Burrows (2137)
  1. C. Ehrhoff (1983)
  2. S. Crosby (1895)
  3. M. Giordano (1817)
  4. T. Hamonic (1803)
  5. D. Carcillo (1763)