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Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers

Mar 7, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT

Officially back in a Florida Panthers uniform for the first time since April 18, 2006, Roberto Luongo recorded the shutout over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

Luongo, the star 34-year-old goalie who was dealt from the Vancouver Canucks to the Panthers the day before the trade deadline, made 25 saves and the Panthers scored twice on eight power play opportunities for a 2-0 win over the Sabres.

Not helping matters for the Sabres was the fact Marcus Foligno was ejected less than seven minutes into the game, after receiving a boarding major for a hit on Brandon Pirri.

https://twitter.com/BarDown/status/442143195879591936

Luongo was making his first NHL start since Feb. 8. That’s in part because of the Olympic break – he started once for Team Canada in the preliminary round – also because Vancouver’s head coach John Tortorella decided not to start Luongo for Sunday’s Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium.

His agent, Pat Brisson, made it clear later this week that the decision to bench Luongo for the big spectacle – the finale in the NHL Stadium Series – helped expedite the process of a trade.

  1. pigpen1013 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Good for Lu. Hope Gillis (and, to a lesser extent, Tortorella) are held responsible for driving him out of Vancouver.

    • blomfeld - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE HOME

      Truly unbelievable that these ‘simpletons’ like Pigpen1013 still can’t get the deal eh ? Then again, he is a pig living in a pen and so ‘God’s will’ as the saying goes I suppose ? Regardless, ‘all’s well that ends well’ as that English guy once said. Luongo has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Vancouver faithful in ‘no’ uncertain terms and he walks away whistling Dixie to the tune of 64 million dollars. Meanwhile, here in Vancouver there’s now a storm brewing which is going to make even professional ‘storm chasers’ shudder ! … suffice it to say friends, thank God I live in a concrete building ! :)

      • jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:06 AM

        STFU, blumpkin.

      • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:43 AM

        eat excrement you suck hole !

      • machosasquatcho - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        Great video, you hapless fukwit!

      • slysipops - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        may the rain never stop in VANCOUVER ! hmmmm, what’s that smell? is it tar cooking TORTS ??

  2. chanceoffleury - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I hope Luongo does really well in Florida. After the shenanigans the Canucks organization put him through the last 4 years I think it’s easy for hockey fans to root for him. He’s a great character and face for the sport and has handled it all better than most. I’m glad the whole spectacle seems to finally be over.

  3. penguins87and71 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    I think Luongo will really help the Florida Panthers to become contenders. They already have a good young core, if they get a few good players as a supporting cast, then they will have something special. I think they are definitely on the right track.

    • jovocop2112 - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:34 AM

      It is essentially what he did for the Canucks way back when ;D Lu is at his best making garbage teams good

  4. Wineshard - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Good for Lu. However, I wonder how many of these Luongo fans nowadays were chastising him when he gave up 8 goals in game 3 of the 2011 SCF? Or any other cave in game.

  5. smarshall3789 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Lol at the Canucks! Good for Lu Panthers of serious about spending the cap could be dangerous next year! Trust me I lived there for a while it’s attractive to players!

  6. barby97 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Obviously Luongo and Vancouver were not a fit so its a good thing luongo was traded off maybe he can come back with florida

  7. salmon90 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Lets get some things straight here:

    1. Gillis didn’t ‘drive’ Luongo out of Vancouver. Luongo has wanted to go back to Florida for a while. Having Schneider be the starter over him a couple of seasons ago was the catalyst to make this the spectacle it was.

    2. The plan was then to trade Luongo and have Schneider take over full time. We all know how that went. We know that the teams lining up to get Luongo were few and far between and that when Gillis did have a deal in place with Toronto, Luongo refused to go.

    3. Gillis’ biggest fault in all this was signing Luongo to that massive contract – which LUONGO signed!! It drives me nuts when everybody feels sorry for this guy making all this $ thinking that he’s so hard done by. Luongo signed the contract. The contract made him virtually un-moveable. When there was an opening for a move Luongo squashed it!

    4. The only reals ‘faults’ of Gillis here was asking for too much in return (because he valued Luongo) or being not willing to eat part of Luongo’s contract.

    5. The other HUGE factor that made him immovable was the new rule the NHL put in which basically screws all the long term deals signed that were trying to circumvent the cap. That one can be put on Gillis I suppose but again at the time this totally changed the ability to trade him.

    So basically he was treated like this:

    He was named Captain – question the decision all you want but this is usually not a sign someones treating you badly
    He was given a massive contract – poor guy
    He then became tradable with the emergence of Schneider who was playing better than him – made nearly impossible by the contract HE signed

    The only thing I can agree with Luongo getting treated poorly is how he was benched for the Heritage Classic game. The rest I have a really hard time with.

    • scottybcboy - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      You my friend are a dick, but in all seriousness, you are a dick.
      Have some respect for the franchise leader in wins. Which franchise? Both the Canucks and Panthers! Typical Nux fan….never happy….even with franchise records and two shutouts in the Final!

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      1. Your right, it probably wasn’t Gillis that drove him out, but rather that knuckle head coach that the media, fans, players, and probably even his father and mother can’t stand. I don’t see how he’s going to last past this year, next year max.

      2. Per Luongo’s contract, which Mike Gillis signed off on, he gave Luongo a full No Trade Clause. Gillis could have traded him to any of the 29 teams in the league, but if Luongo didn’t want to go to that team, he didn’t have to. Because Gillis gave him a NTC.

      3. Sure Luongo signed it, if your employer came to you with a huge contract, such as that the one Mike Gillis signed off on and presented to Luongo, you’d be nuts as well not to sign it. Don’t fault Luongo for signing the contract that was presented to him. Gillis had every chance to not give him that amount, unless of course he held a gun to Luongo’s head and forced him to sign it, but I highly doubt that happned.

      4. Didn’t Gillis (and Vancouver) eat 15% of his contract when they moved him to Florida? Gillis could ask for every prospect on any given team, but the team would still have to agree to that, which no team is that crazy to do that. Not even Sidney Crosby would any team give up every player in their farm system for him.

      5. As you stated, this one is on Gillis as well.

      Poor guy, he didn’t pass on a massive contract his employer gave him.

    • dueman - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:46 AM

      You’ve been drinking the kool aid I see! Luongo has been nothing but a professional while playing for a team that treated him INCREDIBLY poorly. Not by his team mates, but by management, and a lot of fans. He was unjustly blamed more times than not for Vancouver’s failures. He was embarrassed by management, his playing time taken away, and was promised a trade, only to see Gillis not willing to budge at all to make that happen. Instead he had to watch as Schneider got moved. What happened with Lou possibly going to Toronto blowing up, was not because “Luongo refused to go” (as Lou has stated publicly that he thought that Toronto was going to happen!) It happened because your hero Gillis refused to accept a reasonable trade. The whole world knows who the a$$ has been throughout this ordeal, and it was not Luongo!

      • salmon90 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Greatmiamisportsmind – do you honestly think GM’s put no trade clauses in their contracts without having the players/agents request it?? That’s like Luongo asking for 50 million and Gillis coming back and saying “50 million..no way I’m going to give you 64 and a no trade” – not the way it works pal. Also, your acting liek it was Torts who drove him out of town – that’s ignoring the last two years is it not??

        ScottyBcBoy – I don’t even know what your point is..but I’m always impressed with the “typical Nux fan” comment. I’ve defended Luongo numerous times from Hawks fans, Bruins fans, any Canadian team fan base etc. Go back over the years and see how much ‘love’ he was getting from outside of Vancouver. The fact your telling ME he got two shutouts in the finals is laughable – I’ve been preaching that for years.

        Dueman – What Koolaid?! Everyone and their dog is blaming Gillis in this town. The only Koolaid is the Hate Gillis Koolaid which I find far too easy. At the 2012 draft (not last summer) there was a deal in place to send Luongo to Toronto. Luongo and his agent were holding out for Florida (which to their credit ended up working out). Had Luongo not refused the trade, we would be seen Luongo play for the buds, Schneider still with the Nux etc. LAST summer at the deadline, another trade was in place where you are correct in saying Gillis didn’t accept because of the money he’s have to take on.

  8. jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    What’s with all this “THE” shutout talk? “A” shutout would work just fine…

  9. billsin20xx - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    On a side note it seems like the ref’s wanted to give him the shutout, what a one sided game they reffed. Florida and Luongo played well, but they were given some great opportunities on some real iffy calls too. The boarding call was ridiculous, the guy turned into him just as Foligno got there.

  10. chrisk61 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    i wouldn’t get too excited panthers fans. you guys beat the sabres.

  11. joey4id - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Luongo’s laid back attitude helped though the horrendous circumstances he had to endure. Not to mention that a $64 million cushion helps. Good for him that he’ happy and finds himself back in the Sunshine State North American version.

    Can’t help but think that the best decision he made since signing that huge contract was dropping his agent to hire Pat Brisson, co-head of the Hockey Division of Creative Artists Agency. He’s a class guy and one of the most powerful and respected agents in the hockey biz. He and his team had a lot to do with this trade, and have been working on it behind the scenes since being hired.

    • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Joey … the thing that finally made this happen was Aquilini Investments taking a hit to the tune of at least 20 mil (ie: 15% is BS) … and for that Gillis is now a dead man … please refer to item # 3 below from the ‘vision’ which I had last summer …

      ______________________________

      blomfeld – Jun 24, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      “Why on Earth are the Islanders going to trade anything of value for a declining 34-year old signed forever” …

      Jl9830 – Don’t worry friend as that’s ‘not’ going to happen … what ‘will’ happen however is this:

      A) Aquilini Investments restructures Luongo’s K by ‘writing off’ at least 20-25 million, thus leaving a much more ‘palpable’ circa 20 million over the next decade

      B) Aquilini Investments then sends Luongo to Florida and in return receives some worthless ‘face-saving’ asset(s) … Loo and wifey-poo very very happy !!! :) :) :)

      C) Aquilini Investments then liquidates Gillis in retaliation for the hideous financial loss and thereafter immediately promotes John Tortorella to the position of ‘Coach & GM’ of the Canucks

      there you have it friend, all gift-wrapped and ready to go ! :)

      • joey4id - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Yes! However, something that Brisson and his team did to convince Aquilini is behind all of this, otherwise they could have done this deal before Luongo fired his old agent. Brisson and his firm proposed options to Aquilini that would lessen the burden of owning the $20 million.

        joey4id – Jul 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM
        Nothing wrong with his previous agent since he negotiated the $64m deal. Signing with Creative Artists Agency is not a disaster at all. As indicated by the author if this article, Brisson and Barry are top notch agents and have a lot of pull. Who knows but they and Luongo about what is behind this move. They no doubt have a plan that will soon be revealed.

        joey4id – Jul 24, 2013 at 5:20 PM
        Have to agree on sunderlanding here. If they had any plans of buying him out, why not do it this year and save Schneider? It’s becoming clear that he went with Creative Artists Agency because he needed the support of the heavy hitters and their lawyers. His previous agent is not an attorney, and Luongo probably needs a top legal team to find a way out of this mess.

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Joey/blom

        That’s probably the longest conversation I’ve seen you have with yourself

      • machosasquatcho - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Hey Ron, also known as blomfeld/joey/aldog83/slysiwhatever:

        I can contact some Orange County-area psychiatrists for you. We’re all a bit worried about your mental health here.

        Love,

        MachoSasquatcho <3

      • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        Mosquito and Hawk Dynasty …

        why don’t you two ‘simplistic’ mid-west corn squealers just ‘piss off’ and stop using up ‘valuable’ cyber space here at PHT with your useless garbage ! … ya dig ?

  12. nunan - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    I’m a Bs fan but I’m actually happy for Lou here…guy deserved a break from circus that is that Canucks and the constant trade rumors. Can just settle in now. I don’t feel THAT bad for him though..he makes pretty good money.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      happy enough to let Robbie Lou win tomorrow on Tim Thomas bobble head day?

  13. patshal - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    He will do so much better in Florida than in Vancouver. It was obvious that he was happy to leave Vancouver. I guarantee he will win at least one Stanley Cup in Florida. Obviously not this year.

  14. slysipops - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    SLYSIPOPS here the ONE and only …………….. anyway the FLORIDA PANTHERS have been refered to ( on the chi-town stations ) as the BLACKHAWKS south . that being said they do hold a spot in my heart ! they probably have a few years to reach the SC FINALS but are a team to reckon with! i hated to see DALE kind of shaft TIM THOMAS ( a man’s man ) , but do wish the team well !

    • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      I agree Pops, seriously … Tim Thomas is indeed a ‘man’s’ man, no two ways about it …

      your friend comrade Blomfeld :)

      *** special video selection for our ‘excellent’ friend Slysipops ***

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