Roberto Luongo traded to Florida Panthers, will team with Tim Thomas
Roberto Luongo has been part of trade rumors surrounding the Vancouver Canucks for a few years, so it was about time the team finally dealt him. The Canucks sent Luongo back to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday — a day before the trade deadline — in exchange for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.
Luongo was benched for backup goalie Cory Schneider in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There was speculation that Luongo would be traded for the next couple of seasons, including 2012-2013, when Schneider was made the team’s starter. But it was Schneider who was traded in June, which made Luongo the team’s starter again. But that only lasted so long — Luongo had been benched since the Olympics — and now he is headed back to Florida.
One interesting aspect of this trade is that Luongo will now be teammates with Tim Thomas. The two had a lot of friction during the 2011 Stanley Cup finals between the Canucks and Boston Bruins.
Luongo criticized Thomas’ style of goaltending after the Canucks beat the Bruins 1-0 in Game 5 of the finals, saying he would have made the save on the puck Thomas made through (this despite him having a bad series to that point). But the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, and Thomas later said he thought Luongo mistook a compliment he gave his counterpart.
Now that the two are teammates, they will have the chance to clear everything up.