Luongo is always speculated to be on the trade block, and the lockout-shortened season will offer no reprieve from the rumors.
As the new NHL season begins once again, all of the following teams are seriously considering making a move that would bring Luongo to their city.
No. 3: Florida Panthers
While the Florida Panthers aren’t the quintessential NHL trade partner, the possibility of getting a goaltender like Roberto Luongo back in the team’s uniform may be a risk the organization is willing to take, according to Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun.
Luongo played with the Panthers from 2000-2006, and the small-market team would relieve some of the pressure the veteran has faced while in Vancouver. After being visibly shaken at times over the past two postseasons, Luongo’s return to Florida could be the best fit mentally.
It's uncertain if the Panthers would be willing to part with the young stars they’ve accumulated over the years, but if the Canucks are really looking to move the veteran goaltender, Florida will be involved in the discussions.
No. 2: Edmonton Oilers
While the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs are the two biggest names in trade rumors for Luongo, TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie reported that the Edmonton Oilers are a team that can’t be counted out.
Current Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will be 40 years old by the time the regular season kicks off, and a young team like Edmonton needs a goalie that can become a mainstay of the lineup.
With less pressure to win right away with the Oilers, Luongo will have a chance to get adjusted before the expectations begin to creep in. There is so much young offensive talent in Edmonton that the Canucks would love to make a deal with their Canadian neighbors.
No. 1: Toronto Maple Leafs
There has been talk of Luongo being shipped all over the NHL, but the trade that's made the most sense from day one and has held the most water through the lockout was between the Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
According to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, there is a chance the Maple Leafs—a team that claims it could be just a goaltending change away from contention—could be the organization that makes the blockbuster trade for Luongo and his monster contract.
While there is no question that Luongo isn’t the same player he once was, he is much better than the other goaltenders (James Reimer and Ben Scrivens) Toronto has.
This is a deal the Maple Leafs must get done.
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