Fantasy Impact - Roberto Luongo becomes the second Vancouver goalie in nine months to be traded. Luongo joins Tim "pump his tires" Thomas in Florida.
Roberto Luongo is traded back to Florida, who got his NHL career started, for Jacob Markstrom and another player (more details coming shortly - this is all per Renaud Lavoie...). Update - Elliotte Friedman now reporting that it's Luongo and Steven Anthony for Markstrom and Shawn Matthias
The Panthers get: a pretty good 1A/1B tandem in Luongo and Thomas ("pretty good" said sarcastically). With Luongo signed for the long term with a tough contract to move (today aside), Thomas may be next in today's Goaltender Musical Chairs to be moved. He's an unrestricted free agent in the summer and has proven that he is still a high-end NHL goaltender. In Florida, Luongo was the best goaltender in the league (and faced the most shots year after year).
The Canucks get: a great prospect in Markstrom, though one who has been mediocre at best so far when he gets NHL starts. Markstrom was pulled from his last AHL start after giving up two goals on four shots, but had won four of five games prior to that, with a shutout.
In Matthias they get a third-line center who has potential to become a second liner, but it's looking more and more as though he'll never reach that potential. Perhaps a change of scener will help - but I think it won't.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Believe it or not, this both helps and hurts Luongo. It helps in the sense that he will get more starts and face more shots - and judging from history, I think he'll flourish facing more action. But it hurts in the sense that 30 wins will be hard to come by with the Panthers. Maybe long term, sure. But short term, the W's won't be frequent.
This also helps Thomas. Because - come on - they're not keeping Thomas and Luongo together. Thomas is all but gone. Remember their "pump tires" rift in the Cup Final a couple of years ago? Here (4:28 in):
This hurts Markstrom. A lot. He loses his Golden Boy status here and now sits behind another young goaltender in Eddie Lack, who the Canucks seem to be ready to ride for years. Markstrom will likely apprentice in Vancouver's system this year and next, getting cups of coffee with the big club.
With Matthias gone, that opens the door for recently-acquired Brandon Pirri. Pirri will have the second-line job all to himself for a few weeks and if he does well, he should have the third-line job to himself for 2014-15.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
5. Joacim Eriksson
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
2. Scott Clemmensen
The forum just exploded - discuss this deal with the community right here
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