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Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Staff -  / 2014 Trade Deadline blog

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2014 Trade Deadline blog
Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers

The Vancouver Canucks have finally traded goaltender Roberto Luongo, moving him to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Vancouver dealt Luongo to the Panthers along with forward Steven Anthony for goalie Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias.

Luongo has been the subject of trade rumors since losing his starting job to Cory Schneider during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Stunned I think. I was not expecting it," Luongo told reporters in Phoenix. "It caught me off guard. [I'm] just happy for myself and my family and obviously a little sad to be leaving Vancouver."

Luongo has been the subject of trade rumors since losing his starting job to Cory Schneider during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Luongo is 19-16-6 this season with a .917 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against average. He has 367 career victories, which places him 16th on the NHL's all-time list. Luongo, who turns 35 years old a month from Tuesday, is second on the active wins list behind New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

It was shortly after watching Schneider finish Vancouver's first-round loss to the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 that Luongo first reportedly requested a trade. He and Schneider spent the entire 2012-13 season together, but Luongo started the first two games of the team's first-round series against the San Jose Sharks because Schneider was injured. Schneider started the final two games of the four-game sweep by San Jose.

Schneider was traded to the New Jersey Devils at the 2013 NHL Draft. It was expected Luongo would re-inherit the No. 1 job with the Canucks, and he has been the starter for much of the 2013-14 season. Eddie Lack has started all of Vancouver's games since the Olympic break after Luongo lost his final five starts before the break for the struggling Canucks, who are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08 and after five consecutive division championships.

Canucks coach John Tortorella named Lack the starter for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday, a decision that was controversial at the time and disappointed Luongo.

Markstrom was a second-round pick (No. 31) by the Panthers in the 2008 NHL Draft. He's been considered one of the best goaltending prospects in the world for a couple of seasons, but has yet to prove he can be a consistent goaltender at the NHL level. He is 11-25-5 in 43 career appearances with an .898 save percentage.

The Swedish netminder finished the 2012-13 season as Florida's No. 1 goaltender, but the Panthers added free agent Tim Thomas during training camp. Markstrom is 1-6-3 in 12 appearances for Florida this season with an .874 save percentage.

Trading for Luongo unites him with Thomas, the goaltender he dueled with during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Thomas and the Boston Bruins won Game 7 and the Cup in Vancouver against Luongo and the Canucks.

Quote of the Day

He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
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