The question now is: Where is Luongo going this offseason?
The reality is Canucks backup goalie Cory Schneider, 26, has taken over the starting position for the Canucks, and will be the man the team relies on for the rest of the L.A. Kings series, and into the future if the Canucks successfully rally from 0-3 down.
Former General Manager Dave Nonis made the blockbuster trade that sent rugged winger Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Auld and Bryan Allen to the Panthers in exchange for Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a sixth-round pick.
At the time, the Canucks desperately needed a change in team makeup after the Steve Moore incident two years prior, Alex Auld struggling to be a solid No. 1 goalie and missing the playoffs in 2005-06.
Dave Nonis saw the opportunity to acquire Luongo, who was headed to free agent status, and Canucks made the trade with Panthers GM Mike Keenan.
Luongo was outstanding in the early years of his four-year contract signed with Dave Nonis.
In 2007, Luongo was nominated as the finalist for the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy finalist and Ted Lindsay Trophy.
Flash forward to 2012, and Roberto Luongo has struggled at various points during the season, and has been rather inconsistent with his game. Cory Schneider finished the regular season with 20 wins in 29 starts, and was inserted into the starting role Game 3 in Los Angeles.
If the Canucks decide to trade Roberto Luongo, the list of teams interested should be more than 10. Keep in mind, Roberto holds a no-trade clause, which gives him the right to choose where he goes, if he decides to leave Vancouver.
The teams that should have immediate interest includes: Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks.
All these teams have an ongoing need to address their goaltending somehow this offseason.
If teams consider what they did in the playoffs or down the stretch in the regular season, perhaps other teams such as the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers will be interested in the price required to add an All-Star goalie like Luongo.
There's no indication Mike Gillis will make the move to send away the goalie he originally signed for 12 seasons (10 seasons remaining).
However, the trade might be easiest to complete closer to the NHL draft, when teams are planning for the upcoming season, and have the future assets in place to sweeten their offer.
About Cory Schneider's status as a pending RFA, look for the Canucks to sign him close to Detroit's Jimmy Howard—$4.5 million for two-years, or $2.25 million per season.
Where do you think Roberto Luongo will go?
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