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Luongo’s ‘mind is at ease’ in Florida

Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 12: Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers defends the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Center on April 12, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. The Blue Jackets defeated the Panthers 3-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Roberto Luongo’s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks was a roller coaster. He won the Jennings Trophy, earned a couple Vezina Trophy nominations and came tantalizingly close to winning the Stanley Cup. He fell short though and in his final years in Vancouver, he was in the middle of a goaltender controversy between Cory Schneider and him, which led to persistent trade rumors.

All that’s in the past now as Vancouver shipped him in March to Florida, where he spent five seasons before his stint with Vancouver began. Luongo has high hopes for the Panthers, but beyond that he also sees the appeal of being in a less intensive hockey market.

“For sure my mind is at ease and I can focus on one task, and that’s stopping pucks,” Luongo told the Sun Sentinel. “There was a lot of that stuff going on in prior years and I was still able to do that. It’s nice to just not have that worry sometimes when you’re away from the rink or about your future.”

In addition to getting a full season out of Luongo, the Panthers are hoping that veteran additions like Willie Mitchell, Shawn Thornton, Jussi Jokinen, and Dave Bolland will compliment their young core and help lead them back into the playoffs after they finished with a 29-45-8 record in 2013-14.

Great to be back on the ice doing what I love again......

— Strombone (@strombone1) September 19, 2014

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