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Luongo feels return to Vancouver unlikely

by Staff

While Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash remains the hottest name on the trade market, the matter of what the Vancouver Canucks will do with goaltender Roberto Luongo remains to be decided as well.

Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo - 2011-12
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 31-14-8
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.919

During a radio interview Friday with The Jeff O'Neil Show on 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver, the veteran spoke about his time with the Canucks in the past tense and intimated he doesn't expect to be back in the fall.

"At the end of the day, I think it's time to move on. And I'm OK with that," Luongo said. "I had a great six years in Vancouver. It's a really wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I was not able to bring a Stanley Cup there. Probably my biggest regret. But it'll be remembered for six great years."

The writing on the wall that Luongo's time in Vancouver was drawing to a close came when his former backup, Cory Schneider, started the final three games of the Canucks' five-game loss to the Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Schneider, who was set to become a restricted free agent, agreed to a new three-year contract just before the start of free agency.

Speculation about teams that could be interested in acquiring Luongo and the 10 years remaining on his contract include the Florida Panthers, where he played for five seasons before joining the Canucks, and the Chicago Blackhawks, who explored the possibility of signing Martin Brodeur before he elected to stay in New Jersey.

Luongo said Florida "is definitely one of the spots I'd be willing to go to," and seemed high on Chicago, as well.

"I think there's a lot of cities that are great to play in, and Chicago's definitely one of them," he said. "But you have to realize that it works both ways. There's not only me involved in this decision. It's also a question if the Blackhawks would be interested, if the team would be interested in trading me there, and if I wanted to go there."

Luongo, who turned 33 in April, has 339 wins and 60 shutouts in 12 seasons with the New York Islanders, Panthers and Canucks. He led Vancouver to within a game of winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. He finished last season with a 31-14-8 record, a 2.41 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 55 games.

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