Didn’t I tell you this was possible? OK, so all the maybes I used…
…doesn’t make it quite as impressive, but this deal makes sense for a number of reasons.
— Florida was always Luongo’s first choice as a destination, for family reasons. It was even reported in June of 2012 that the Panthers were “getting ready” for his return. Now, with new, aggressive ownership in Florida, along with the Canucks apparently agreeing to take on some of Luongo’s salary, the time was right.
— Even after Cory Schneider was traded to New Jersey at the draft, it was pretty obvious that Luongo still wanted out of Vancouver. What happened this weekend at the Heritage Classic didn’t help his happiness.
— I’m not sure Mike Gillis drew it up quite like this, but in Markstrom and Lack, the Canucks now have two young, cheap goalies. There’s no guarantee either will pan out in the long term, but then again, there’s no telling how Luongo, soon to be 35, will perform either. Remember that Schneider also netted the Canucks Bo Horvat with the ninth overall pick in the draft, and he could turn out to be a key player in the near future.
— Shawn Matthias is a player the Canucks have been interested in for some time now.
Per TEAM 1040, here’s audio of Luongo talking about the trade.
“It’s nice. It’s home,” he said of being traded to Florida. “The new ownership there is committed to winning. There’s some good, young players there. It’s a good opportunity for me.”
Related: New Panthers prez is ‘incredibly optimistic’ about franchise’s future
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.