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.