Roberto Luongo last played for the Florida Panthers in the 2005-06 season (photo above) when he made 2

Coming Home: Vancouver Canucks trade goaltender Roberto Luongo to Florida Panthers

Luongo is heading back to the Panthers. There is no word yet on what the Canucks receive in return.

Roberto Luongo is going home, where his heart is.

The Vancouver Canucks have traded their starting goaltender of eight years to the Florida Panthers, where Luongo played from 2000 to 2006. Since then, Luongo has been a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and was nominated for two Vezina Trophies (2007, 2011) and one Hart Trophy (2007) with the team. He led the Canucks to a Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada, in 2010 and 2014.

Luongo first confirmed the news himself to TSN’s James Duthie.

“I was not expecting it,” Luongo told reporters on Tuesday. He was preparing to be tonight’s starter in Phoenix, where the Canucks will take on the Coyotes.

“Go figure right? I’m happy for myself and my family and a little bit sad to be leaving Vancouver.

“All in all it was a great run. There was a lot of stuff that happened in between but I have nothing but good things to say about the fans that were really supportive especially towards the end. This organization brought my game to another level. It’s all positive stuff.”

Reports say Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias are coming Vancouver’s way from the Panthers.

Luongo has been the center of trade rumours since June, 2012, when the Canucks started Cory Schneider over him in that year’s quarterfinal playoff series.

The Canucks traded Schneider to New Jersey at last year’s NHL Draft, after Luongo had been very public about his desire to be traded out of Vancouver and after Schneider was his heir apparent on Canada’s west coast.

On Sunday, Luongo sat for Vancouver’s Heritage Classic, with head coach John Tortorella instead playing backup (now starter, it would seem) Eddie Lack.

Luongo has eight years left on a contract that pays him an average of $5,333,333 per season.

He will also now be teammates with Tim Thomas, who Luongo sparred with from the opposite crease during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, when Thomas was with the Boston Bruins.

On Tuesday morning, Luongo spoke to reporters from the Canucks dressing room in Phoenix, where he was still preparing to be the starter for tonight’s game against the Coyotes.

Here’s a look at a guy who has no idea what’s about to happen:

Just Posted

New immigrants healthier than Canadian-born population

In 2016, 7.5 million immigrants were accounted for in Canada

Prevedoros launches new album three years in the making

Local composer, guitarist takes a page from philosopher Alan Watts

Don Quixote is the world’s best selling book

Canadians read, on average, just under six hours a week

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Most Read