So I got home late last night and checked the sports news to be shocked that Luongo had been traded. The deal is:
Luongo and Lukas Krajicek to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld
My initial reaction was this trade is a steal for the Canucks. After sleeping on it overnight I think more or less think the same. What Vancouver gets in this deal is two fold. First, they get the high-calibre goalie they have never had. Second, they save some money they despertely needed to in order to try to re-sign the Sedins as well as try and keep Jovanovski and Anson Carter. It is also all but certain that they will dump Dan Cloutier’s salary to the first team willing to take it off their hands. The big question mark on the deal is, will they be able to ink Luongo to a long term deal. If they can then this trade is a steal for the Canucks. If not and they lose Luongo next summer it will not be so great but it is not like they gave up a lot as Bertuzzi is a UFA next summer to.
For the Panthers they get two Mike Keenan type players (big, physical players) and a youngish goalie with still some potential improvement for a goalie they apparently didn’t think they could sign long-term, or weren’t willing to pay what it would take to sign him long-term. If it is true that Luongo was not going to re-sign with the Panthers and he had to be traded then this is a respectable return but I am a bit surprised they couldn’t get more. People are saying that Todd Bertuzzi had a bit of an off year last year and hasn’t fully rebounded from ‘the incident’ mentally. But he had 25 goals and 71 points and only twice in his 11 year career has he posted better numbers. I think that in reality might be what Bertuzzi is. A 25-30 goal scorer and 70-80 point producer. His 2001-02 (36g, 85pts) and 2002-03 (46g, 97pts) are probably the exception and not the rule. But that combined with his phyical play still makes Bertuzzi a very valuable player to have on any team and he will certainly help the Panthers. And Bryan Allen will do the same on defense. Talk is the Panthers might go hard after Jovanovski too and if they sign him (or another quality defenseman) this will be a mighty fine team. That is, if Auld provides them with quality goaltending. And that is where the Panthers might get slapped in the face with this deal. Without consistant quality goaltending, you don’t win. Just ask the Canucks.