Roberto Luongo

PHT List: 10 reasons Luongo could end up in Tampa Bay

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There’s no guarantee the Vancouver Canucks will trade, or be able to trade, Roberto Luongo this summer. However, if it happens, here are 10 reasons why Tampa Bay makes sense as a destination.

1. The Lightning are desperate for a goalie. We saw in the Jeff Carter trade to Los Angeles that desperation (the Kings badly needed scoring) can persuade teams to take risks they normally wouldn’t.

2. Tampa Bay isn’t exactly in “Stanley Cup or bust” territory, but the window on Martin St. Louis’ career is closing. He’ll turn 37 in June.

3. As Elliotte Friedman points out, management will often take on salary if it feels the player can deliver additional playoff revenue. And if the Lightning had had better goaltending this season, They might not have missed the playoffs. The capacity of the Tampa Bay Times Forum is around 19,000. Supposing the average ticket price for a postseason game is $50, that’s around a million bucks in ticket revenue per game.

4. The Lightning have the cap space to absorb Luongo’s $5.3 million hit. Dwayne Roloson ($3.5 million) will be off the books next season, and the Canucks could take back salary in return.

5. Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said Tuesday he wants to make his team “bigger and stronger.” Rumors of the Canucks pursuing Lightning forward Ryan Malone have popped up before.

6. In 2010, Luongo won a gold medal for Team Canada – a team that was put together by current Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

7. Luongo’s wife, Gina, is from Florida and they have two young children together. Remember, the Canucks can’t trade Luongo anywhere they want – he’s got a no-movement clause which he’ll have to waive first. The Panthers also make sense if family is a significant factor; however, they’ve got top prospect Jacob Markstrom waiting in the wings.

8. Luongo would be the undisputed starter on the Lightning. There’s no blue-chipper like Cory Schneider in the system. (Which is another reason Yzerman might be interested.)

9. If Luongo’s sick of the media and fan attention he gets in Vancouver, Tampa Bay would offer a welcome respite.

10. Tampa Bay would provide Luongo a better chance to win than Columbus or Toronto, two other teams that need goaltending.

Related: Luongo: I’ll waive my no-trade clause

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.