The Vancouver Canucks held goaltender Roberto Luongo out of the 2014 Heritage Classic against the Ottawa Senators because of trade talks with the Florida Panthers.
That was what Canucks general manager Mike Gillis inferred on a conference call after it was announced Luongo (along with minor leaguer Steven Anthony) had been dealt to the Panthers in exchange for goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.
Gillis indicating Luongo trade was reason for sitting out Heritage Classic, but doesn’t match Tallon’s timeline of restarting talks Monday
— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) March 5, 2014
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said the two sides began negotiating a deal on Monday, the day of the Heritage Classic, but TSN’s Darren Dreger says the Canucks had given Luongo’s agent, Pat Brisson, permission to speak with teams this past weekend.
Canucks gave Luongo’s agent, Pat Brisson permission to speak with teams on the weekend. Florida was the focal point of Brisson’s campaign.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 5, 2014
Fans were quite vocal at the Heritage Classic in their displeasure with the decision to start Eddie Lack in this marquee game. A “We Want Lou!” chant broke out during a stoppage in play and an occasional chorus of “Lous” filled the stadium when Lack made a save.
It was something that Luongo acknowledged.
“Nothing but good things to say about the fans that were really supportive, especially towards the end,” he said. “[It] did not go unnoticed for sure.”