Canucks trade Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Shawn Matthias, Jose Theodore, and Quinton Howden.
Roberto Luongo realizes it’s time to move on from Vancouver, now that talented young backup Cory Schneider has stepped up and seized the starting job.
Luongo has stated he wants to go to Florida, where his wife and kids live. As of right now, Florida seems like the only possible destination for Luongo, especially considering he has a no-trade clause and can essentially choose where he wants to play next season.
The Canucks need more size and grit among their forward group. If Doan signs elsewhere, I believe this need will have to be filled by players obtained in a deal for Luongo.
Shawn Matthias is a big, gritty, young player with a developing offensive game. He tallied 10 goals and 14 assists in his first full NHL season last year, and I believe his offensive game is only going to improve.
Jose Theodore, at 35 years of age, is the perfect veteran backup to help Schneider through his first year as an NHL starter. Theodore is also very capable of starting for an extended period of time, should Schneider falter at any time during the season.
Quinton Howden, whom the Panthers selected with Vancouver’s first-round pick in 2010 (traded along with Michael Grabner for Keith Ballard), is a very solid young prospect. His combination of size and skill will help continue Vancouver’s movement to get bigger and stronger, even though he may not be ready for NHL duty for at least a couple more seasons.
Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis recently told NHL.com that “any trade involving Luongo will change the Canucks' depth chart at both the NHL level and the prospect level.” I believe that the trade I laid out fulfills what Gillis expects to get for Luongo, in addition to being very realistic for both sides.