Vancouver Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis announced today that goaltender Robert Luongo, defenceman Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick in tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Entry Draft have been acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Bryan Allen, Alex Auld and Todd Bertuzzi.
I like this deal a lot. Bertuzzi was clearly done in Vancouver. I’ll miss his soft hands, but I certainly won’t miss his indifferent play, apathy toward defense and general moodiness. Plus, 42 goals over the last two seasons isn’t good enough for US $5.2 million.
Will Bertuzzi light it up in Florida? Probably–he’s got a fresh start under Mike Keenan, and he’ll get a ton of ice time. I’m pretty sure that he had to change cities to find his game again, so better he do so on the other side of the continent.
Alex Auld looks like a good but not great goaltender, and Bryan Allen is easily replaceable. I know nothing about Krajicek except that he’s a former first round pick and played 67 games with Florida last season, recording 16 points and 50 penalty minutes. All the other players are just add ons anyway–this is Bertuzzi for Luongo straight up.
And now Vancouver has, after Martin Brodeur, possibly the best goalie in the NHL. The Canucks haven’t had consistent grade A goaltending since Kirk McLean. Hopefully Luongo can deliver.
Say goodbye to Dan Cloutier. He’s too expensive for a backup, and Noronen looks sufficient in that role. The early buzz has him being moved to Toronto or Tampa Bay, but don’t expect a lot in return.
This move also must be encouraging to the Sedin twins, who will pick up some of Bertuzzi’s minutes and dollars next season.
UPDATE: Apparently Cloutier has already been moved to the Dallas Stars for a couple of draft picks. I’ll link to something once, you know, I can find confirmation.
UPDATE #2: Huh, apparently that Cloutier thing was just a rumour.