With trade speculation continuing to swirl in Vancouver regarding the goaltending situation, netminder Roberto Luongo believes his days as a Canuck are coming to an end.
In an interview with Vancouver's CFOX Morning Show on Friday, Luongo - in his first one-on-one since the end of the season - said that he enjoyed his time with the team and was resigned to the fact that it's time to move on.
"(And) I'm okay with that," Luongo told the radio station. "I had a great six years in Vancouver. I think it's a wonderful city, I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring a Stanley Cup there, which was probably my biggest regret. But it will be remembered for six great years."
Luongo, 33, told reporters in May that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if general manager Mike Gillis asked him to. That led to instant speculation that the club was going to trade him, and the rumour mill got more rampant after the Canucks signed goaltender Cory Schneider to a three-year contract last week.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and his former club the Florida Panthers are reportedly interested in his services.
"I think playing in a hockey market is great," said Luongo. "Playing in one is a preference for sure. Playing in a place like Florida with anonymity - to go out somewhere and have a dinner with your family and relax and stuff is great. When you're on the ice, being able to play in a building that's rocking, sold out and the fans are passionate about their team - as a hockey player you always want to be in that type of market."
Luongo has 10 seasons remaining on a 12-year deal he signed with the Canucks in 2010. The deal carries a salary cap hit of $5.33 million per season but is front-end loaded. His annual salary – $6.71 million for the 2012-13 season – drops off dramatically after the 2017-18 season. He is slated to make just $3.382 million in 2018-19, $1.618 million in 2019-20 and an even $1 million in the final two years of the deal.
Over parts of 12 NHL seasons with the Canucks, Panthers and New York Islanders, Luongo has amassed a 339-283-83 record with a career .919 save-percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average.
He currently ranks second in the league career wins amongst active goalies and holds the Vancouver franchise record for wins as a Canuck.