The NHL trade deadline isn't until 3:00 EST tomorrow, and today has already been fantastic. From the nonexistent to the impactful to the hilarious to the Bryzgalov, each deal has been more fun than the last. Now Roberto Luongo is heading back to Florida, this time to hang out with his old buddy Tim Thomas, and I am giddy.
Despite the Canucks announcing Luongo would start in net tonight, and despite a contract once derided as untradeable, Vancouver has sent the 34-year-old goaltender to the Panthers for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. Renaud Lavoie first reported the deal.
(Fun[?] fact! Florida traded Luongo for Todd Bertuzzi, whom they traded for Shawn Matthias, who has now been traded for Luongo. Luongo begets Luongo, eight years and $5.3 million AAV later.)
Luongo confirmed the trade with a palm tree emoji because sure, why not:
— Strombone (@strombone1) March 4, 2014
Luongo will presumably supplant Tim Thomas as the Panthers' starting netminder. Hope there are no hard feelings, because these two have a history dating back to the 2011 finals. Luongo said Thomas allowed a goal on what would have been an easy save for him, then declared, "I've been pumping his tires ever since the series started. I haven't heard any one nice thing he's had to say about me." Thomas responded by saying it's not his job to pump anyone's tires, won a Cup, went crazy for a year, and woke up in Florida, as tends to happen.
This is some more surprising work by Canucks GM Mike Gillis, who has managed in the span of eight months to turn Cory Schneider into a ninth-overall pick and Roberto Luongo into "not having to pay Roberto Luongo anymore." Good on him for getting returns, but the goalie situation in Vancouver should never have gotten fucked up to the point where both had to go.
It sounds like the full story of the Luongo deal and the Canucks' direction is going to be a doozy:
Quite a day with Luongo on move to FLA. Convinced this more related to fallout from non-start in Heritage than reason for the non-start.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 4, 2014
Wow, Duthie saying that he figures Gillis is gone barring a big turnaround and that Torts probably goes too.
— mc79hockey (@mc79hockey) March 4, 2014
In this time of confusion and blaring trade klaxons, only one thing is certain: The Canucks, serious contenders for most of the last decade, are now in rebuild mode. Coming just shy of a Cup has to hurt even more once the window slams closed.