Roberto Luongo traded to Panthers, where he’ll join best bud Tim Thomas

This trade deadline wasn’t supposed to be about Roberto Luongo for the Canucks. That was last trade deadline. Have we gone back in time? If we did, let us all take a lesson from Back to the Future and stay away from our moms.

No one saw this coming. Well, except us. (We gloat because this rarely happens.) But other than us, no one saw this coming. Long after it seemed like Luongo was stuck in Vancouver for good, he was finally traded to where he wanted to go all along: Florida. He’ll join none other than Tim Thomas in net, forming the odd couple of goaltending tandems.

Here are the bare bones details: the Canucks are sending Roberto Luongo and prospect Steven Anthony to Florida, while retaining about 15% of Luongo’s contract. The Panthers are sending goaltender Jacob Markstrom and centre Shawn Matthias back to Vancouver.

After that, things get fuzzy.

While some speculated that this might have been in the works for a while, which is part of why Eddie Lack got the start for the Heritage Classic, James Duthie, who is fairly well-connected on this one, said it was his understanding that this was part of the fallout of that decision, and that Luongo’s agent Pat Brisson contacted Mike Gillis after Tortorella made the decision.

If that is the case, then the turnaround from trade request to actual trade was remarkably quick, spanning just two days. Fans might rightly ask where that haste was last year.

I’m extremely skeptical that this decision was related to just one start, though, even one as symbolic as the Heritage Classic. Luongo has wanted out of this situation for a long time, now, and having yet another young goaltender threaten to take over his job just exacerbated matters.

As for the trade itself, it’s a pretty solid trade for the Canucks — in a vacuum. Jacob Markstrom was supposed to be the future in goal for the Panthers and has been superb in the AHL, but has struggled in his few NHL stints. He’s still got the talent to be an NHL goaltender, however, and it will be interesting to see him battle for playing time with Eddie Lack, considering Lack was Markstrom’s back in Sweden with Brynas.

Those two, like us, must be feeling like they just went back in time.

As for Matthias, he’s someone the Canucks have apparently had their eyes on for some time. The 26-year-old has size and should be a good fit at third-line centre. He’s signed through next season at $1.75 million. If the Canucks choose not to trade Kesler, that gives them a foursome down the middle of Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Matthias, and Brad Richardson, which is pretty solid. I mean, they’re probably still going to trade Kesler, but shut up shut up enjoy the moment.

As for Steven Anthony, he’s fallen off a cliff since he was selected in the 7th round in 2009 and was playing this season in the CHL with the St. Charles Chill. It’s possible he was included in the deal to give the Canucks some flexibility with their total number of contracts, as he has little to no value in the NHL and his contract expires this year.

And now we step outside the vacuum.

In the larger picture, this is just adds to the mess. Just last season, the Canucks had the best goaltending tandem in the league, with two franchise goaltenders in Luongo and Cory Schneider. As of today, they have neither of those goaltenders and Markstrom, Matthias, and Bo Horvat to show for it. Replacing Luongo and Schneider with Lack and Markstrom is a little bit less than ideal.

It’s tough to say this situation wasn’t woefully mismanaged.

That’s sad. In fact, this whole day is sad for Canucks fans. Roberto Luongo was the best goaltender in franchise history, leading the Canucks to two Presidents’ Trophies, taking the team to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and winning a gold medal with Team Canada in Vancouver in 2010. He was also one of the funniest hockey players in the game, rescuing his reputation as a sourpuss with the best Twitter account in all of sports.

We’re really going to miss him.

On the bright side, even though he didn’t play in the Heritage Classic, what a farewell. After all he’s been through, having 54,000 fans chanting “We Want Lu” in your final game is a heck of a farewell.

59 comments

  1. James W.
    March 4, 2014

    We’ll miss you, Funny Bob.

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    Rating: +26 (from 26 votes)
  2. ikillchicken
    March 4, 2014

    It’s okay Luongo. Mike Gillis can’t hurt you anymore.

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    Rating: +47 (from 47 votes)
  3. spikey
    March 4, 2014

    so we only trade a player who has requested a trade when another player requests a trade. makes sense.

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    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • ikillchicken
      March 4, 2014

      On the bright side, I’m really looking forward to Kesler’s inevitable trade at the 2015 deadline.

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      Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  4. Sammy
    March 4, 2014

    Luongo can be a highest priced backup in Florida now when a Conn Smythe Cup Winner Tim Thomas outplays him there like the 2011 Cup Finals ehahahahahaha Anyone with an opinion that matters knows this guy is a joke. Thanks for proving my point Vancouver Canucks orginization

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    Rating: -49 (from 51 votes)
    • PaulMacKay
      March 4, 2014

      “Anyone with an opinion that matters….” in my experience that’s just another way to say “anyone who agrees with me.” . Actually my version is likely more accurate. If your opinion on all matters hockey was so mind numbingly brilliant you’d likely have a job relating to hockey in some way.

      I’m just assuming you don’t. I pretty perceptive that way.

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      Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
      • Sammy
        March 4, 2014

        Very perceptive because that’s exactly what I meant by it no joke. More accurately other people who matter being the Team Canada Management and Vancouver Canucks Management. Maybe I don’t create the truth but I can recognize it when I see it. Whats the big deal? Instead of golfing in Vancouver come playoff time he can golf in Florida. Heard its a lot sunnier there (also my opinion). Doesn’t make it not true

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    • shoes
      March 5, 2014

      have you watched tea party timmie play lately? I didn’t think so, there is a reason Tallon just grabbed Luongo.

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  5. MrTemple
    March 4, 2014

    I called this trade on Feb 26th:

    https://twitter.com/MrTemple/status/438745083102244865

    “@eddielack to start tonight after a week of fluff-pieces by @VanCanucks. I bet a lucky loonie that Luongo @strombone1 has just been traded.”

    It was the fluff-pieces on Lack that told me they were getting close. There was a palpable shift to “Hey, look at what a good guy this Lack kid is. Let’s look at his heritage gear! Let’s put his name out there every second tweet.”

    Sad to see Luongo go, as Vancouver will very likely never see a goalie of his calibre again.

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    Rating: +4 (from 14 votes)
    • Neil B
      March 4, 2014

      A number of people called it; I was off on the amount the canucks are left holding in cap hit, though (I said 1.6, turns out to be 800K). Based on that number, Luongo is retiring in 2017, (FLA’s recapture penalty if he retires then is $886K, according to CapGeek), which means starting in 2017, the Canucks get hit with a $1.7 mill clawback off the cap.

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      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  6. Noodle
    March 4, 2014

    Happy for Lu, but also sad…feels like the end of an era. Reminds me of when the West Coast Express era team started to get dismantled.

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    Rating: +26 (from 26 votes)
  7. Quirky
    March 4, 2014

    So Lou gets to move back to Florida to have time with his wife and kid. How crazy would it be if the Panthers end up in financial trouble and end up getting moved to Seattle?

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    Rating: +33 (from 33 votes)
    • dontpassjustshoot
      March 4, 2014

      Bwahahahaha!

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  8. Burrinator
    March 4, 2014

    i’m sad.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  9. Clutch Fan
    March 4, 2014

    Gillis (and by extension ownership) is pathetic… he created this with lack of foresight and misunderstanding of the market and player values, (not to mention trading away draft picks for ineffective rental players). I would have preferred Schneider to Luongo as the Canucks keeper, but losing them both in a year? Wow, talk about a clusterf**k.

    Anyway, I like Lack, and wish him the best as the number one. He has shown pretty good so far.

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    Rating: +13 (from 19 votes)
  10. TubaNat
    March 4, 2014

    Well, just when you think this season is done kicking you in the balls, it gets another one in. So long Funny Bob, I’ll miss you!

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    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  11. mb13
    March 4, 2014

    You hit the nail right on the head:

    “It’s tough to say this situation wasn’t woefully mismanaged.”

    Now… tell us again how this trade is “pretty solid” for the Canucks? You are trading the best goalie in hockey (GMMG said so himself! Many times!) for a borderline 3rd line center and a goalie prospect. This has been a complete and utter debacle from the outset. And on top of it, they are now eating salary.

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    • shoes
      March 5, 2014

      MB13/……..there is basically only two types of species when it comes to thought processes. The chicken family (big body small head) and the Humanoids (bigger head) . You can position yourself in the appropriate one.

      Daniel says the “situation has been woefully mismanaged” and he is right. Next he says “a pretty solid trade” and he is right again. That is called “reasoning” or “logic”

      It has been known since the CBA implemented the cap recapture AFTER the Luongo contract was signed, that it devalued him and his contract. (pesky reasoning again) You see how it works, once the damage was done, this was probably the best trade that could be gotten for Luongo. Now the chickens want to go back in a time machine and make it all better, but alas they don’t know what time is or what a machine is . Are you a “big body, small head” type of reasoner? Or can you follow what happened?

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      • Gary
        March 5, 2014

        @Shoes…that’s a little harsh but pretty much dead on

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        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      • mb13
        March 5, 2014

        Hahahahahahah…. says the guy sitting under a tinfoil hat.

        Keep crying….. and crying…. and crying. You and the Canucks deserve each other.

        All year I have been saying this team is overrated, would struggle to miss playoffs, would not turn the seaso around for stupid reasons like fighting the kings. Yet there was shoes talking out his *ss. Wrong at every turn. See.. the chickens dont want to go back in time… they want people like you (the ostrich family) to stop burying your miniscule head into the sand when things dont go your way. Face it.. you have been wrong, senseless, arrogant this whole season….. crying about refs or opponents being embarrassed or NHL conspiracy against the csnucks…. wrong each and every time. You and GMMG have a lot in common.

        Enjoy the re-tool…. LOL

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        • shoes
          March 5, 2014

          Bwaahahahahhahahahahaha

          I see the chicken analogy got to you. Listen up troll……you can rant at me all you like, but what I don’t do is follow you around on your teams site (do they have a site in Red Deer) and which one of the mullet teams are you a fan of?

          Too embarrassed to tell us? LOL don’t blame ya there bud. But know this, I back the Canucks through thick and thin, BUT I am not so dense (chicken headlike) to think that Collies NHL is a good one. Now carrry on, you have a GM of your own to manage. You should leave ours alone. LOL

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          • mb13
            March 5, 2014

            I’m not a fan of any team. Certainly not of this disaster in Vancouver.

            Enjoy your decade long re-tool! I wonder, is GMMG still going to be calling it a re-tool in 2023? And lemmings like shoes will continue to eat it all up.. .blaming the league, or the refs… LOL.

            You never told me, where did you want me to send the soother?

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  12. Iceman
    March 4, 2014

    Farewell Bobby Lu…

    No matter what the haters say you were the best goalie this franchise has ever had. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us for all these years, through the good and bad times. You deserved much better than what you had to put up with here — especially during the past couple of years — but now you can finally leave all the crap behind. I hope you can find peace in Florida and have a chance to pump each other’s tires with TT :-)

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    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  13. Zach Morris
    March 4, 2014

    Take me with you…

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    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  14. Snepsts
    March 4, 2014

    Ok now please write an article about how this affects or frees up the cap and suggests what might happen next since you guys have the crystal ball.

    That said, I knew Torts was way too old-school to play Lack instead of Luongo for a marquee game like that, unless there were a trade in the works. I said this to my wife at the time. I swear!

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    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
    • Naturalmystic
      March 4, 2014

      Nope. This all happened after the Heritage Classic. Luongo’s agent said, trade him after he was made to ride the pine. Luongo’s agent worked the phones and helped make this deal happen. Don’t give Gillis any credit other than agreeing to this trade.

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      • llaplander
        March 4, 2014

        It sounds like I was listening to the same broadcast you were. You missed the weasel words they started with – Something to the effect of ” I don’t know for sure but I bet Luongo’s agent was on the phone as soon as it was announced that Lack was starting”… The conversation went on from there.
        Maybe it is true, but I most people I know were guessing that a deal was in the works when it was announced he would be sitting that one out.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        March 4, 2014

        Yeah that’s not how trades work.

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        • dontpassjustshoot
          March 4, 2014

          Luongo said in the video on the Canucks website that he was not expecting this right now & that he’d just started to let his guard down, so I don’t think it was really about pique over not being played. Can PITB do a post on his farewell tweets? I’d especially like to know what the emoticon

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          • dontpassjustshoot
            March 4, 2014

            … my comment got cut off during posting. :( There was an emoticon in his twitter feed that just shows as alpha-numeric in mine. And maybe an honourable mention for Tim Thomas’ all-class “welcome to the team” remark of: “[Florida GM] Dale went kicking tires and found one that needed to be pumped.”

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            • Daniel Wagner
              March 4, 2014

              The emoticon was an emoji of a palm tree. We’ll likely have more Luongo coverage after the trade deadline passes when we have time to process all of this.

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              Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
        • shoes
          March 5, 2014

          hardly ever disagree with you, but will this time. I believe that Torts triggered this mess with his stubborn attitude. And I also believe that Luongos agent phoned Gillis and said “are you kidding me?”

          Usually trades do not work this way, however with the new rich owner of the Panthers, I think this one did. The Canucks had scouted Mattias previously and it is worth taking a chance on Markstrom. He will provide a degree of comfort to Lack and their shared goalie coach back in Sweden.

          PS look for that goalie coach to be in Canada next year as Eriksson uses him too.

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          • akidd
            March 5, 2014

            apparently the guy never leaves finland. an awesome article about him which leaves me stoked about any of his students. there’s a really good argument against the old butterfly too. he also says that swedish goalies are now surpassing finnish ones. we got any those?

            http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/the-puck-stops-here/357579/

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        • Naturalmystic
          March 5, 2014

          Tallon said he got a phone call monday morning from Luongo’s agent. He said that was the beginning of the trade talks.

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  15. iain
    March 4, 2014

    goodbye Lou, we will miss you.

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  16. steveB
    March 4, 2014

    http://i.imgur.com/4MF60hF.jpg

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    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  17. the olde coot
    March 4, 2014

    So it’s so long to Bobby Lu
    The fans all wish the best for you
    And put their faith in Eddie Lack
    While thinking Torts should get the sack
    And Gillis is without a clue
    Of how to help The Green and Blue

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  18. iain
    March 4, 2014

    goodbye Bobby Lou, we’ll miss you

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  19. iain
    March 4, 2014

    what the heck is it with your web hosting service and my comments? sometimes they appear sometimes they don’t. sometimes i’m told i’m typing too fast and sometimes i’m not. i just don’t know anymore.

    *sigh*

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    • madwag
      March 4, 2014

      log in again. go to a different post. log in again and your comment may appear. either that or just go away and come back later and all will be well.

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      • Neil B
        March 4, 2014

        I just back up to the original article & hit the refresh button.

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  20. ktownfan
    March 4, 2014

    This whole thing can only be summed by with #clownshoes.

    Trading Lou and Schneider for a pick, a marginal 4th line center and a goalie prospect that to date couldn’t cut it in the bigs.

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  21. tj
    March 4, 2014

    So bittersweet. Happy for Lu and his family to get what he wanted after so many years of patience and abuse. TT is likely to retire soon, so Lu will be number one again, I predict. The irony of that situation is pretty interesting, but of course Lu will handle that with aplomb. If he takes anything away from his time here, learning to deal with awkward situations with professionalism and humour must be one of them.

    However, I’m sad. I have been a Lu defender all along, against what often seemed like a maelstrom of hate. Now poor Lack has the weight of furious fans to shoulder. I feel stressed for him, and wish the MuppetMan all the best.

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  22. Iceman
    March 4, 2014

    Now having all the tears swept away… we’ve got a first round pick, a third line center and an AHL goalie to show for, after trading away the best goaltending duo of Schneider and Luongo. If I were an investor and that’s the kind of return I get from my investment I’d have fired my stock broker already.

    Had MG pulled the trigger (i.e. sending Lu to Toronto) at the last year’s TD we would have gotten much more or at least similar return, while still keeping Cory and having Eddie as a backup. Just think about it — that goalie tandem would have been just as good if not better.

    Any way you slice it, this is an inexcusable blunder by the inept GM. I don’t have my hopes up with Kesler/Edler situation either as I have this creepy feeling that MG will screw things up again one way or another. Whoever replaces Gillis (and I really hope that will be the case) will have a hard time cleaning up all the mess he left behind.

    We have a long and winding road to recovery ahead… *sigh*

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  23. Naturalmystic
    March 4, 2014

    Ray Ferraro has watched Markstrom play in the AHL and he said he has been shaky and makes himself small in net. That he gives up way too many goals in the centre of the net. Lack and Markstrom played for the same team in Sweden.

    Good luck Eddie Lack in the NHL goalie graveyard. If he is a one season wonder, what then for Vancouver? I guess Ilya Bryzgalov will be available this time next season

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    • shoes
      March 5, 2014

      I hate to expose a perfectly good troll like yours, but au contraire. Markstrom has struggled and been inconsistent over 4 part seasons in the NHL. He has been lights out in the AHL and was named goalie of the month AGAIN last month.

      Fail,…………..again.. :)

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      • mb13
        March 5, 2014

        Thats great news for Utica!!!!

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  24. Raftgeek
    March 4, 2014

    Well back to where I came from Lets Go Panthers! I am really sad today if only because I really fell in love with a core group of players on the Canucks. I’m hoping that they trade Kelser, Burrows and Juice and I can write the whole team off minus the twins. I have really hated most of the Vancouver fans I think you guys expect to go 98-0 and win 12-0 every game and cause the trouble this team is reaping now. There is a reason Kesler wants to play for an American team. Mike Gillis you are a fool and Torts has shown me he could kill even the most brilliant offensive duo in the world. The Canucks miss the playoffs this year and probably a few more in the next couple of years. It will be hard for me to root against the Canucks for a while but one day in the not so distant future I’m sure I’ll be freed to do so. The fans of Vancouver are the worst in hockey overall. PITB is the sole saving grace along with the color commentators for this team. I wish like hell we had won the cup in 2011, I wish most fans didn’t solely blame Lou for the loss (8 goals in 7 games people) and I wish things had been different. Lou will probably never get another shot at a Cup as the Panthers management sucks and is a large part I left with Lou but at least the people of south Florida won’t run him out of town. To those that hated Lou. I laugh at you and what Gillis has done trading away the best goalie tandem in the game for the past couple of years for basically a bag of pucks you deserve what you got.

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    • clutch fan
      March 4, 2014

      Oookay Raftgeek, you can run along to Florida with your weird man-crushes now…. thanks for the memories…

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  25. Mitch
    March 4, 2014

    How long you figure before Thomas institutes “Bring Your Ring To Work Day”?

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    • shoes
      March 5, 2014

      Do you watch him at all….not exactly lights out, without Gregory in front of him

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  26. bluemoonjones
    March 4, 2014

    If you’d have told me one years ago that in 12 months time Vancouver would have neither Luongo or Schneider on the team due to them being traded for the grand sum of a #9 first round pick, a hardly tested back-up Swedish goalie, and an about average 3rd line center, I’d have laughed.

    But only for a minute – until I remembered that these were the Canucks we were talking about, after all, and, well, I’d have stopped laughing…

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  27. Jason
    March 4, 2014

    We traded Bertuzzi to Florida for Luongo; Florida traded Bertuzzi to Detroit for Matthias; now we have traded Luongo back to Florida for Matthias. Weird.

    Is there some rule I am not aware of that says we are only allowed to make significant trades with Florida?

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  28. akidd
    March 4, 2014

    homerun!!! gillis hit it out of the park. i can’t believe there are any naysayers here. where i was when i heard about the trade there were high-fives, whoops and smiles all around. it felt like a miracle, if you believe in those kinds of things.

    lou did not want to be here. the canucks needed to move one. but it seemed like that contract would be the end of days for lou and the canucks. didn’t think it was possible but it got done. lou played great this year and became tradeable again because of it. most of the actual big bucks had been paid out and all that remained was the cap hit more or less. it finally made sense for a team like florida. actually the only possible team, it seemed.

    now we can move on with an awesome young goalie who has the best possible easy-going attitude and no baggage. we’re free. we’re all free. bloody amazing!

    and btw, thanks to lou. best of luck in the tropics with the family!

    #win,win

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    • dontpassjustshoot
      March 4, 2014

      Canucks don’t lose, at least, since it seems like Lack can hack it, though everyone will miss Lu; Lu wins; Panthers definitely win; only Tim Thomas comes out worse off than he was. I am soooo looking forward to Luongo nudging Thomas into backup position. And then continuing to pump his tyres with all the graciousness in the world.

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  29. ben50
    March 4, 2014

    When Mike Gillis was hired didn’t he say something about making substantial changes to the core of this team because it wasn’t good enough.

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    • mb13
      March 5, 2014

      Shhhhhhhh…. he is a used car salesman. He expects you not to remember things he has said in the past.

      I listened to the radio yesterday and he said they knew for a while that they werent good enough… since december. Yet in december he wss touting how the underlying stats had them playing better than the results showed. So which is it?

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  30. Lucky
    March 4, 2014

    Luuuuu :(

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  31. shoes
    March 5, 2014

    Cheer up fellow Knuckleheads…… IF Eddy Lack continues at his present development pace all will be well. Too early to tell at 26 games in. He will almost double up by end of season.

    If he doesn’t continue, then there will be time for whinning. What disappoints me is how many so called fans whinned about Luongo when he was here. And don’t lets start on fans from other teams….they were brutal on Luongo, but now that they feel he has been wronged, it was like they were brothers all along. Sheesh…..hockey fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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