It seems Roberto Luongo has his eyes set on playing for the Panthers next year. In a summer filled with rumors surrounding the Canucks' goaltender on a potential trade, the Montreal, QB has made it clear that the Panthers are his "preferred location" if a trade does occur.
Like every off-season, the 33-year old is spending his summer in Florida, where he played from 2000-06 before being traded to Vancouver. Working out to get ready for the upcoming season (if there is one that is), Luongo was quietly enjoying his time in Florida. On Tuesday, however, he spoke with the Sun-Sentinel, saying that he wouldn't mind staying in Florida and playing for the Panthers once again.
"(Playing for the Panthers) makes sense for myself, for my career and my family," Luongo stated. "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.''
Having also has been linked to both the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs, Luongo has 10 seasons remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $5.33 million. The 3-time All-Star does have a no-trade clause however, meaning he cannot be traded without his consent. In other words, Luongo will have the final say on any potential deal.
Closing in on the 3-year anniversary of the 12-year contract he signed back in September of 2009, Luongo recently lost his starting job to the likes of Cory Schneider after being outplayed by him in last years playoffs.
After telling a Vancouver radio station that he was at peace that his career as a Vancouver Canuck was over, Luongo is still waiting for a trade to take place.
"It's been a tough summer, not knowing what's going to happen," Luongo told the Sun-Sentinel. "It's tough to not know what your future is going to be with your family and everything. There were a couple of stressful moments."
If a trade with the Panthers does indeed go down, one of either Jose Theodore or Scott Clemmensen is sure to go the other way.
As far as how much the two goalies are paying attention to the whole Luongo situation, the two goalies couldn't care much less.
"It's useless energy wasted on speculating what might happen with him,'' Clemmensen told the Sun-Sentinel.
It is believed that the Canucks will be able to work out a deal to deal Luongo before the current CBA expires on September 15th. Whether or not that is indeed the case, no one knows for sure as of yet. What we do know though, is that Luongo's days as a Vancouver Canuck, couldn't be closer to coming to an end.
Follow me on Twitter, @AustinL_NHL.
Subscribe to me on Facebook: “Austin Legendre“.