It’s no secret that Roberto Luongo would love to return to the Florida Panthers. The current Vancouver Canucks goaltender waived his no-trade clause earlier this year and has expressed in interviews his desire to play in Sunrise.
The goalies on the Panthers roster are an obstacle for Luongo’s possible return. There are backup goalies Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom, of course, but there’s also the issue of starting goalie Jose Theodore. There’s no doubt that he had a respectable season (22-26-11 in game, a 2.46 GAA and .917 save percentage) and a great playoff series against the New Jersey Devils, but would that be enough to keep him in net for the Panthers?
In a recent interview with The Miami Herald’s On Frozen Pond blog, Theodore stated that he’s actually not worried about any trade whispers. “It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “It doesn’t change how I wake up in the morning or sleep at night. It’s not going to change how I prepare myself. It doesn’t change anything.”
Theodore did point out that the ongoing (and currently on hold) labor talks between the NHL and player’s union were a factor in any talks that the Panthers and Canucks could have.
A very likely scenario that would bring Luongo to Sunrise would involve the Panthers keeping Markstrom with their AHL team in San Antonio and shopping Clemmensen. This would give the Panthers a good net pairing in Luongo and Theodore, and it would also benefit Vancouver, who would want a prospect in trade. The Canucks have already signed Eddie Lack as the likely backup to Cory Schneider.
When asked about how he did during the season, Theodore deferred the attention. “I liked what we did as a team. We did things people didn’t expect. I don’t like to talk about my individual play. At the end of the day, it’s what the team does. I played over 50 games and as a team, we proved a lot of people wrong.”
As he prepares for another season, Panthers fans will wait to see if Theodore will have the chance to help their team prove people wrong again.