The Vancouver Canucks trading veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo isn’t a surprise given his desire for a move that has lasted for about two years, but the timing of the deal is a shock to many, even for the player himself.
“Stunned. I was not expecting it,” Luongo told TSN Radio shortly after being traded to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m happy for myself and my family but a little sad to be leaving Vancouver.”
“It was really out of the blue. I was not expecting it at all,” Luongo said. “I thought my contract was immovable. I would never thought I would be traded before the deadline.”
“There was ups and downs no doubt about it, but I think it was a pretty successful run.”
Given the lack of rumors involving Luongo in the weeks leading up to the March 5 deadline, few people were expecting the Canucks to pull off this kind of move. There are eight years remaining on his contract, which is substantial for a player who’s exiting his prime at 34 years old.
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada provided some context via Twitter.
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Luongo spent over seven seasons in Vancouver, where he was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2011 and led the team to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final that same season. He won 30 or more games six times for the Canucks.