In the biggest goalie swap since….well Friday…Roberto Luongo has finally been freed from the Vancouver Canucks. With Eddie Lack assuming the #1 role in Vancouver over the last few weeks, Luongo has been traded to the Florida Panthers, where he will, at least for the moment, be a tire-pumping teammate of former adversary Tim Thomas.
Luongo was a member of the Panthers for 5 seasons, appearing in a league high 75 games in 2005-06 before being dealt to Vancouver along with Lucas Kraijcek for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld.
This time around, the Panthers have sent long-time top prospect Jacob Markstrom and centre Shawn Matthias to the Canucks, who will also eat a significant portion of the remaining salary on Luongo’s lengthy contract. Vancouver also sends minor leaguer Steve Anthony to the
Markstrom hasn’t really panned out and lived up to the billing he came to the Panthers with, and has played just 43 games in his pro career, now in its 5th season.
Vancouver seems set to go with the tandem of Lack and Markstrom, a far cry from the Luongo-Schneider combination that they ended the 2013 season with.
How long Thomas remains in Florida is anyone’s guess now, but that would be an interesting dressing room to be a fly on the wall for the next while, unless Thomas is moved before Wednesday’s trade deadline.
Ironically, Matthias was acquired from Detroit by the Panthers for Todd Bertuzzi in 2007.