Vancouver Canucks Trade Goalie Roberto Luongo To Florida Panthers

The Vancouver Canucks have finally found a team willing to acquire veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo and his enormous contract.

The Florida Panthers have acquired Luongo in a multiplayer deal, per Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

According to ESPN’s Katie Strang, the Panthers will also send center Shawn Matthias to Vancouver.

Luongo, 34, played six seasons in Florida from 2000-01 through 2005-06 before being traded to Vancouver.

The Canucks have attempted to move Luongo for a few years, but his gigantic contract that has eight more years left on it and a $5.3 million salary cap hit made it difficult for teams to work out a deal for financial reasons. With a little more than $13 million in salary cap space prior to this trade, Florida was one of the few teams with the flexibility to pull of this kind of move.

Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reports Vancouver will retain 15 percent of Luongo’s salary.

Luongo is 19-16-6 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against average this season.

Markstrom will be a fine addition to the Canucks roster. The 24-year-old netminder has the athleticism, size and poise NHL clubs look for, and he was never given a chance to be the No. 1 guy in the Panthers net. A change of scenery should benefit him.

One of the most interesting aspects of this deal is that Luongo and Tim Thomas are now teammates. They opposed each other in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when Thomas’ Boston Bruins defeated the Canucks in seven games.