The Vancouver Canucks have traded longtime goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. In return, the Panthers get goaltender Jacob Markstrom and center Shawn Matthias. The Canucks will retain part of Luongo’s salary for the remainder of his contract.
Jacob Markstrom is a guy who won a gold medal for Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships, but has yet to find that success in the NHL. This season, Markstrom has a 1-6-3 record and a 3.52 goals against average and a .874 save percentage. The upside to this for Vancouver is that he is 6’6″ and 197 pounds. He is also young at only 24 years of age.
Luongo was surprised by the trade, but happy to be returning to the city he played in from 2000 to 2006.
“This caught me off guard,” Luongo said, as quoted by the Canucks on Twitter. “But I’m excited. I’m going home.”
Luongo returns to the Panthers with eight years left on his contract beyond this season. The Montreal native makes his off-season home in South Florida and had been linked in trade talk with the Panthers for at least two years.
The reports say that he has always wanted to return to Florida, where he spent five seasons, before being traded to the Canucks. He is excited to be going back to Florida, and also tweeted his thanks to the city of Vancouver shortly after being traded.
Thank you Vancouver for a great 8 years! Really appreciative of all the support especially the last little while. I will miss the LOOO’ing!!
— Strombone (@strombone1) March 5, 2014
Luongo now teams up with Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas, who beat Luongo in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Boston Bruins.
In 42 appearances with Vancouver this season, Luongo was 19-16-6 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
Writer/Contributor Kelvin Lapierre – @kfed007
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