Roberto Luongo will make his return to Vancouver on Thursday when the Florida Panthers visit the Canucks.
With the team already in town, the 35-year-old met the Vancouver media for the first time since his March 2014 trade on Tuesday.
Luongo, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver admitted he’d likely be in a Canucks jersey if he’d started last season’s Heritage Classic.
“There’s no hiding it. I did want to play that game. That goes without saying,” said Luongo. “If I would’ve played, I’d probably maybe still be here. Who knows? I don’t know. I don’t like to use the term disrespected, especially after what I’ve been through over the last few years. I feel like whatever hand you’re dealt, you have to deal with it as best you can.”
As for his biggest disappointment, Luongo pointed to the 2011 Stanley Cup final where the Canucks came a win shy of capturing it all.
“I’m just disappointed I wasn’t able to bring a cup here,” he said. “This market wants one more than anything. If anything, that’s the main thing I’m disappointed about.”
Luongo was dealt to the Panthers on March 4, 2014 in a trade which saw the Canucks land goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.
In 448 regular season games with the Canucks, Luongo was 252-137-50 to go along with a 2.36 G.A.A. and a .919 save percentage.