NHL Trade Rumors: Florida Panthers Must Avoid Roberto Luongo

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 28, 2012

VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 11: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save as Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings looks on during the second period in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on April 11, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Roberto Luongo wants to play with the Florida Panthers again, but the Panthers absolutely cannot bring him back to Florida.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch, Luongo would only want to be traded to Florida.


Only place Luongo is willing to be traded, as of today, is back to the Florida #Panthers.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 25, 2012


While bringing in an elite goaltender like Luongo is always a good thing, it might not be in this case.

Brian Burke has said that the asking price is going to be huge (per The Globe and Mail).

"From my perspective, the prices that are being asked have to be reasonable," Burke said. "If you can get a goaltender who makes you better, and it costs you 15 first-round picks, would you do it? No.

"So somewhere between 15 first-round picks and something that makes sense, we're not there yet. I'm not going to overpay to upgrade at that position. I'm not happy with what's being asked. From my perspective, rather than strip your organization to fill one positional need, we'll go with what we have."

After winning the Southeast division this season and earning the team's first playoff berth in over a decade, the Panthers are finally getting to the place that they want to be. However, making a trade like this could jeopardize it.

The Panthers have an incredible prospect who can play goalie in Jacob Markstrom, who is close to being a solid starter in the NHL, and trading for Luongo would pose a conflict.

You can only play one goalie at a time, making it absolutely insane to give up an arm and a leg to get a second goaltender.

What's worse about acquiring Luongo is that Florida would also have to take his contract.

Luongo is signed until he is 40 years old, with a $5.33 million salary cap hit until 2022. This is easily one of the worst contracts in the NHL today, and there is no need for the Panthers to take this on when they already have a goaltender with a promising future.

There is simply no sense in trading for Luongo, and doing so could sabotage a franchise with a bright future ahead of it.