Roberto Luongo has admitted that his days with the Vancouver Canucks appear to be coming to a timely end, and he also stated on the record that he would certainly consider playing for the Chicago Blackhawks as soon as he is traded.
“I would never say never, you never know, but I think we all know what’s going on,” Luongo said about leaving Vancouver. “We’ve all seen what’s developed. At the end of the day, I think it’s time to move on and I’m OK with that. I had a great six years in Vancouver. I think it’s a wonderful city, I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring a Stanley Cup there, which is probably my biggest regret. It will be remembered for six great years.”
It has long been known that the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs have been involved in trade talks with the Canucks regarding Luongo, who has already had one stint in net in South Beach. The hold up with Florida appears to be Vancouver’s insistence that goaltender Jose Theodore be a part of any deal, and Theodore has a limited no-trade clause list, of which the Canucks are not part.
The Maple Leafs are also interested in acquiring Luongo as their next netminder, although trade talks also stalled there prior to the 2012 NHL Draft. They could pick up again, although as things stand right now, Florida seems to be a more likely landing spot than Toronto.
But then we hear from Luongo himself, who said he could definitely see himself playing with the Blackhawks.
“I think there’s a lot of cities that are great to play in, and Chicago’s definitely one of them,” Luongo told a local Vancouver radio station. “But you have to realize that it works both ways. There’s not only me involved in this decision. It’s also a question if the Blackhawks would be interested, if the team would be interested in trading me there and if I wanted to go there.”
Chicago did go after Martin Brodeur, before he decided to re-sign with the New Jersey Devils, and they are clearly not thrilled with Corey Crawford in net. But trading for Luongo would cost them a lot going forward, and it is unknown as to whether or not the Blackhawks are looking to make that long term of an investment in Luongo, or any other goalie for that matter.
Like Luongo said, the interest has to be mutual. That is why the Panthers appear to still be the odds on favorite to land the disgruntled goaltender.