Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo may have lost his starting job with the reigning President's Trophy winners and now he wants to go back to where his NHL career flourished.
Luongo, who is seeking a trade out of Vancouver after losing his job to Cory Schneider after two straight shaky postseasons, says that he would like to return to the Florida Panthers. Luongo said of the possible return, "(Florida) makes sense for myself, for my career and my family,"
"That being said, there's obvious other options as well. This is a preferred location for obvious reasons but I'm not shutting the door on other possibilities if it comes up."
Luongo spent five seasons with the Panthers and he and his wife and children still live in the area.
One problem with a potential trade is that Luongo has 10 years left on his massive contract. Luongo also holds a no-trade clause and has a cap hit of $5.33 million. Any team that is willing to trade for Luongo is essentially getting the 33 year old goaltender for the rest of his career.
"You're dealt different situations in life," said Luongo. "You've got to handle them the right way. I don't know what's going to happen this year. The only thing I could do is work hard and have a positive attitude.
"At the end of the day, I'm sure everything is going to work out."
Luongo is being patient while the Canucks look for a trade partner, if one is willing.
Luongo is a great regular season goaltender going 31-14-8 last season with a save percentage of .919, but its the postseason that kills Luongo. This past postseason, Luongo was benched in favor of Schneider in the team's first round loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and in 2011 Stanley Cup Finals he gave up 18 goals to the Boston Bruins, despite recording two shutouts.