Panthers/Canucks Trade Bait
As shocking as the timing of the David Booth trade was, the fact the deal occured with the Florida Panthers was about as easy to predict as the crowd reaction when Luongo lets in a goal.
Maybe its the fact the two teams are, without looking this up or factchecking this at all, probably the two teams with the most distance between them in the league but the trade relationship between the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks is older than your average bantam player and has outlasted many, many regime changes and have involved a lot of big names.
1996 Jesse Belanger
It started innocently enough in 1996 when the Canucks gave Florida a third-round pick for Jesse Belanger. That pick turned out to be Oleg Kvasha who would later be dealt to the New York Islanders in a trade that brought a young goalie prospect from Montreal to Miami (call that foreshadowing).
1999 Ed Jovanovski
The next trade was a tad bit bigger and one you probably remember. Ed Jovanovski, Dave Gagner, Mike Brown, Kevin Weekes and a first rounder that turned out to be Nathan Smith for Pavel Bure, Bret Hedican, Brad Ference, and a 3rd round pick.
Two years passed and then it happened again: a second and third round pick for Alex Auld.
2006 Roberto Luongo
And then 2006 and the blockbuster that Nonis opened his General Manager career with. Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek, and a 6th round pick that turned into Sergei Shirokov for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld. Luongo was heading to the team that faciliated his career in Florida, Auld was doubling back, and Shirokov? Yeah, we’re not quite done with him yet. Bertuzzi, of course, would only play a handful of games in Florida before being dealt to Detroit for a prospect.
Things lay dormant after the Bertuzzi-Luongo swap but something happened when Dale Tallon took over in Florida that suggests he and Gillis just might be BFFs.
2010 Keith Ballard
They hooked up on a couple of minor deals in 2010, Andrew Peters for Darcy Hordichuk and Nathan Peatsch for Sean Zimmerman, but stole the show at the 2010 draft when they announced Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and that year’s first.
This deal is a rare one that has bit both teams back. Ballard struggled last year in the Canucks system while Florida put Grabner on waivers after training camp only to see him blossom on Long Island.
2011 Chris Higgins
Gillis has also signed three ex-Panthers in his career: Tanner Glass, Byron Bitz, and Alex Sulzer.
The Bure and Luongo blockbusters are the product of geographical distance and only playing each other a couple of times a year, while Gillis seems to believe that a change of scenery from anonymity to fishbowl could invigorate players.
We’ve seen it with Higgins, and Horton in Boston, and we could see it with Booth.