Category Archives: Florida Panthers
With the Florida Panthers in desperation mode look for them to make a significant trade. hockeytraderumors.com
— hockeytraderumors (@hockeytraderumo) January 27, 2013
After Montreal GM Marc Bergevin sat down with agent Don Meehan for a meeting Friday, the future of Habs blueliner P.K. Subban is all the rage. The two sides have gotten nowhere and many wouldn’t be surprised if this ended in a trade demand from the Subban camp in the near future. As reported last week, Subban wants a five-year, $27.5-million deal at $5.5 million per season. Sources say Bergevin used Florida D Dmitry Kulikov (two years, $5 million) and New York D Michael Del Zotto (two years, $5.1 million) as comparisons. That won’t wash with Subban. If the Habs decide to deal Subban, Detroit, Philadelphia and the Rangers will make a push. But sources insist there is a surprise candidate that could have the assets to acquire Subban — the Winnipeg Jets. League sources say GM Kevin Cheveldayoff wants to make a splash to get an impact player. The problem for Bergevin is simple: As mad as the Habs’ camp is at Subban, he’s a thoroughbred and they don’t come along often … Lots of teams are waiting to see where the dominos fall with Vancouver G Roberto Luongo before making a move for a netminder. Canucks GM Mike Gillis has told several teams he’s not doing anything until he gets his asking price. Yes, the Edmonton Oilers have what it takes to acquire Luongo, but he wouldn’t approve a trade there. The Panthers don’t want to make a deal unless Gillis is willing to take cash back. The Canucks know the pressure is mounting in some markets to win and they’ll find a desperate GM trying to save his job, maybe even Washington or Philly.
It is rare to hear a team publicly admit it’s time to panic, acknowledging that their season is spiraling out of control.
Yet this is where the Panthers find themselves after a humiliating 7-1 home loss to the Flyers on Saturday night.
“You have to panic right now,” winger Tomas Fleischmann said quietly. “We have to bring everything we have. It’s a short season. We have to panic right now.”
The Panthers are most definitely sweating after losing their fourth consecutive game just five games into the season.
When Roberto Luongo leaves the Canucks, he will depart as the city’s greatest-ever goaltender.
When he is traded, he will leave with a gold medal, two shutouts in the Stanley Cup final, and a resume which says “Hart Trophy finalist.”
He will leave with at least 13 more wins and 13 more shutouts than Kirk McLean — and that’s in 130 fewer Canucks games.
Alex Kovalev is getting another shot at the National Hockey League.
Miami Herald writer George Richards tweeted Tuesday that the former NHL veteran is in Pompano, Florida with the Panthers and will attend their training camp when it gets under way.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo issued a tweet on Sunday that said: “So (what) do we do now?”
Many Toronto fans may be asking the same question after months of speculation over whether the veteran goaltender with the 12-year contract will be joining the Maple Leafs from the Vancouver Canucks for the lockout-shortened NHL season.
With his large Vancouver Canucks hockey bag slung over one shoulder, goalie Roberto Luongo walked out of the Panthers facility Monday morning.
“See you next week,” Luongo told a member of the Coral Springs Iceplex’s staff before heading out the door.
Luongo flew to Vancouver on Tuesday to participate in the Canucks’ charity golf tournament and continue his informal offseason workouts with his teammates.
If the NHL owners lockout their players as expected come Saturday night, Luongo plans to continue his workouts in South Florida.
So, once Luongo leaves Vancouver, will he return?
“I have no idea what is going to happen,” he said.
Luongo, who played with Florida from 2000-05, wants to return to the Panthers.
It appears there is mutual interest, too. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon spoke to the Canucks about a potential trade in June, but talks have cooled.
The Canucks are said to want a number of Florida’s top young players in return for Luongo. However, the Panthers aren’t interested in parting with any of their future building blocks. Nothing will happen on the trade front until labor issues are settled.
For Luongo, it appears his time in Vancouver is over.
In a bizarre, slightly uncomfortable scene at Saveology.com Iceplex Tuesday morning, current Panthers starter Jose Theodore was beginning an informal practice with several teammates just moments after estranged Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had finished his own skate.
Luongo has made it clear that since Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis promoted goalie Cory Schneider to starter after giving him a three-year, $12 million contract extension, that he wants to be traded to the Panthers, the franchise he established his All-Star credentials with from 2001-06 and back to an area he maintains an offseason residence with his wife and two young children.
So, Luongo was literally about to sneak out the back door to avoid a potentially awkward situation for fellow Quebec native Theodore, whose job he covets. Luongo spoke to the Sun Sentinel before leaving.
“It’s been a tough summer, not knowing what’s going to happen … with your family and everything,” Luongo told the Sun Sentinel while changing inside the cramped visitor’s locker room a few feet from where the Panthers were skating.
“[The Panthers] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family,” added Luongo, who has 10 years at $5.33 million per remaining on his deal. “This is a preferred location for obvious reasons, but I’m not shutting the door on other possibilities.”
Luongo, 33, has been linked to the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs, both with glaring needs for an elite goalie. Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon has repeatedly said he’s content with his current goalie trio, that includes Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and promising Swede Jacob Markstrom.
Luongo has 10 years left on the 12-year contract with Vancouver, and it appears there is interest on all three sides (Vancouver, Florida and Luongo) to get a deal done. Luongo is said to have agreed to waive his no-trade clause to come back to Florida — where he and his family reside for much of the offseason.
Scott Clemmensen, Florida’s backup the past three seasons, will be a free agent Sunday.
Tallon said the Canucks and Panthers talked “goaltending” at last weekend’s draft without mentioning Luongo by name; Santos said Friday there have been no talks about it since.
Florida could also have interest in future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur if he were to leave New Jersey after two decades with the Devils — possibly because of concerns with team ownership. Brodeur owns a home in Palm Beach County and won’t come cheap.
Of the free agents who played for Florida last season, it’s possible Jason Garrison played his final game with the Panthers, although he could still sign with the team.
Garrison, who made an average of $675,000 the past two seasons, could garner $5 million per season on the open market after he scored a career-high 16 goals. Florida has reportedly offered Garrison around $3.5 million per season.
“We’ve kept the line of communications open,” Santos said. “But when you get this close to July 1, typically, the player wants to see what his options are.”
The Panthers have spoken to Clemmensen and forwards Krys Barch and Mikael Samuelsson about returning — and it’s possible the Panthers bring some or all of them back. The Panthers waived Mike Santorelli and Matt Bradley on Thursday.
Florida has quite a bit of money to spend to get to the raised salary cap floor, so don’t be surprised if the Panthers make some big moves.
While Vancouver Canucks starter-to-be Cory Schneider says he’ll take his time to sign a new deal, the team probably wants to get that whole Roberto Luongo mess cleaned up sooner rather than later. Darren Dreger provides the latest update on that front: the Florida Panthers remain the “frontrunner.” The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, appear to be lagging behind.
Bob McKenzie paraphrases Dreger as such:
Insider Trading hilites: @DarrenDreger says dialogue continues between FLA and VAN on Luongo. Not so much TOR and VAN. FLA frontrunner.
Plenty has been made of the Panthers’ interest in bringing back Luongo; it’s even clear that the team’s ownership seems OK with his lengthy, risky contract. It appears that Luongo wants to go back to Florida, too, as a report surfaced that he wouldn’t accept a swap to two other interested parties in Toronto and the Chicago Blackhawks.