Roberto Luongo wasn’t happy – in fact, he was “pissed,” according to his former head coach John Tortorella – to not play in Sunday’s Heritage Classic, when he was still a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
And, according to his agent, Pat Brisson, the fact Luongo was stuck to the bench for that event had an impact on the star goalie being traded to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, the day before the NHL’s trade deadline.
“If Lu had played Sunday the talks with the Canucks might have taken place at a later time,” Brisson told the QMI Agency. “Therefore, it gave us a reason to discuss his status.”
Tuesday’s trade, which sends Luongo back to Florida, where he played before being shipped to the Canucks on the eve of the 2006 NHL Draft, was, of course, major news in Vancouver. (Here’s a look at the front pages of a variety of newspapers in the city.)
The NHL’s trade deadline was Wednesday. The Canucks were expected to make another blockbuster involving center Ryan Kesler, but general manager Mike Gillis did not pull off the move.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.