So the Panthers won the battle and lost the war.
They went to arbitration with goalie Roberto Luongo and Luongo got one year for $3.2 million.
He’s still under contract for two more seasons, though, so Florida has to go through this again sometime in 2006. He’ll be a free agent after the 2006-2007 season.
David J. Neal talks about how pissing off Luongo is the last thing the Panthers should do (login info.).
Wouldn’t you know it, though? Luongo is pretty pissed at the Panthers. They offered him $25 million for 5 years right before arbitration and he said no.
So basically, Florida has to trade away one of the NHL’s top five active goaltenders.
Every team in the league is throwing tons of money at decidedly average talent and Florida is low-balling a franchise cornerstone.
Nice move, guys.