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Luongo trade center stage on 'NHL Revealed' finale

by Brian Compton

One week prior, Roberto Luongo was discussing how happy he was to be the No. 1 goaltender with the Vancouver Canucks after having to share the net with Cory Schneider last season. But after arguably the biggest deal prior to the NHL Trade Deadline last Wednesday, Luongo is back for a second stint with the Florida Panthers.

"You've handled yourself with a lot of class, though, the last couple of years," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says moments before Luongo meets reporters in South Florida. "That's really good. It happened so quick. We fought hard last year [to get you back] and it didn't work, so … but this time, it just happened. Maybe sitting out at the Heritage Classic was a bonus for us. It worked out great. We're excited."

"It's been a long road," Luongo says.

The Tallon-Luongo exchange is one of many memorable scenes from the season finale of "NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other," on NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.

This week's episode goes into great detail about the trade deadline and provides an in-depth look at several of the players who saw their lives and places of employment change. The Luongo trade certainly takes center stage.

"I'm not going to say that I'm happy to be out of there, because that's not true," Luongo says of Vancouver. "There was a lot of things going on. Obviously, you don't want to be surrounded by that kind of stuff, but that's not anybody's fault in particular. It's just things that happened over the course of a career. The main thing is the way you react, the way you respond.

"I thought I was having a great year in Vancouver this year. Things happened quickly over the last week or so and the trade happened. It's sad. It's a part of my career that's over."

Luongo spent his first few days back in Florida without his family, which stayed in Vancouver to tie up some loose ends. He kept his home in Florida while playing for Vancouver, so he's back in a familiar setting, though by himself.

"It's comfortable for me," Luongo says. "I don't have to get used to a new city and look for a place, find a new vehicle, that kind of stuff. Everything's all here for me already, so the transition part of it is going to be great. It's going to be smooth and it's just a matter of getting acclimated with my new teammates and my new team.

"It feels weird being here by myself, you know? It's the first time ever really that I've been here by myself without my wife and kids here. [But] my family will be able to make it back here by early sometime next week. Obviously I left everything there. I didn't know I was going to get traded when we were on the road trip so there was a few things to wrap up before they could all come home. You can hear a pin drop in here."

Other highlights of the season finale include:

* With Luongo out of the picture, Eddie Lack becomes the new No. 1 in Vancouver and makes his fifth consecutive start against the Dallas Stars. With little help from his teammates, Lack allows five goals on 17 shots in a 6-1 loss. Lack was pulled after the second period.

* One night after the Canucks lose in Dallas, Luongo makes his return with the Panthers by stopping all 25 shots he faces in a 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres at BB&T Center.

"Not bad for your first shutout of the year, eh?" forward Brad Boyes says to Luongo as he is congratulated by teammates after the buzzer.

Luongo is greeted by fans after the game and signs some autographs.

"Are you going to do that every game?" a boy asks him.

"What?" Luongo says.

"Get a shutout," the kid replies.

"I hope so," Luongo responds.

* Hoping to help Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw to regain his scoring touch, coach Joel Quenneville decides to put Shaw on the top line with center Jonathan Toews.

"I felt like it was time to do something different," Quenneville tells reporters. "Shawsie's got to play his game, be direct and get to the net and around the net. That's his strength."

Shaw ends an 11-game drought by scoring twice in a 6-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at United Center.

* As the Los Angeles Kings wrap up practice last Tuesday, forward Matt Frattin is informed by coach Darryl Sutter he's been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"It's going to be tough leaving this group of guys," Frattin says. "But at the same time, I'll hopefully get a lot more ice time there and it's a fresh start and they're a good team for the playoff hunt."

Jarret Stoll says, "It's always awkward when a teammate gets traded, and disappointing. But, it's part of the game."

* With the deadline approaching, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur appears in what could be his final game with the club, his 1,250th game with the only NHL team he's played for. Brodeur makes 20 saves to help the Devils beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 at Prudential Center.

"I'm not getting any younger, but I'm feeling good and enjoying the game," Brodeur says. "This is where I'm comfortable. I'm a Devil and I'm always going to be a Devil, regardless of what happens tomorrow."

* It's a few hours before the deadline, and New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is still with the team, participating in the morning skate in preparation for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After practice, Henrik Lundqvist tells reporters he hopes Callahan doesn't get moved, unaware that Callahan has already left Madison Square Garden after being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Within a matter of hours, Martin St. Louis, acquired for Callahan, arrives at MSG and makes his Rangers debut.

* Seeking to bolster the blue line for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks acquire defenseman Stephane Robidas from the Dallas Stars. Knowing that Robidas has a heated history with Ducks forward Corey Perry, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is quick to make a joke while he introduces himself to his new defenseman.

"Corey Perry's glad you're here," Boudreau says, sparking a laugh from Robidas.

Robidas and Perry later shake hands during a very brief conversation.

"We've had many battles in the past," Perry says. "Him and I, we went toe-to-toe each and every night we played against each other. He's a guy that really pushes you right to the edge."

Decks captain Ryan Getzlaf says, "If you can [bleep] off our best goal-scorer, then obviously we want him on our team. When he comes in the room, they talk it out and bury the hatchet and away we go."

The series finale will be shown again on Sportsnet this Sunday at 9 p.m. local time and on the NHL Network in the U.S. on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.


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