The Opossum-Palooza

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6.24.2006

Don't Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out

Yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks traded much-maligned winger Todd Bertuzzi to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Roberto Luongo. There were some other players and picks involved, but I don't know enough about any of them to comment, so I'm going to focus on the two stars of this deal.

I don't really know how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I think the Panthers are insane to trade away possibly the best goalie the league will see over the next ten years. On the other hand, I'm not really sure how much having an elite goaltender really matters in Bettman's new NHL. What I do know is that, as a Capitals fan, I will certainly be glad not to have to see Luongo on a regular basis again, whereas Bertuzzi? Not so much. He just doesn't seem to me to be the player he once was ever since the Steve Moore incident.

On the other side, Vancouver addresses the one thing that has consistently been a problem for them, picking up an elite (the elite?) goaltender. I think they definitely come out on top in this deal.

EDIT: It appears that Luongo wasn't even aware he was going to be traded. In fact, he thought he had agreed to a long term deal. My favorite quote from him? "I'm really looking forward to the opportunity of making a run at the Stanley Cup, something I never had a chance to do in my prior seasons in Florida."

Trading your franchise's best player after giving him the impression that he was going to be signed to a long term deal and then having him take swipes at your franchise immediately after said trade does not a good impression make. I can see now why Luongo (and several other Panthers) were hesitant to ink long term deals during the season.

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