Roberto Luongo is still a member of the Vancouver Canucks, but the writing appears to be on the wall that the netminder is on his way out of town. Luongo spoke for the first time since the end of the season while in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. He confirmed what has seemed like common knowledge since Cory Schneider replaced him for the final three games of the series against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2012 NHL Playoffs.
"I would never say never, you never know, but I think we all know what's going on and we've all seen what's developed," Luongo said. "At the end of the day I think it's time to move on, and I'm OK with that. I had a great six years in Vancouver. I think it's a wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately I was not able to bring a Stanley Cup there, which is probably my biggest regret. But it will be remembered for six good years."
Schneider signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Canucks at the end of June. Luongo is in just the second year of his 12-year, $64 million deal, but Schneider's re-signing sent a clear message as to where the organization's priorities were.
Luongo said that he would prefer to return to the Florida Panthers if possible, though he acknowledged that his lofty contract will make trading him difficult.
"My contract's set," Luongo said. "It is what it is and maybe that's a bit of a handicap for me right now as far as ... how many teams are really in my services. There are a few teams on there that I would be willing to look at, but obviously Florida is my home in the offseason and it makes sense for family reasons. At the end of the day it's for hockey also. There's not many years left in my career even though I have a long contract, and I want to be focused on having a chance to do something."