Is Luongo’s Retirement a Good Thing for the Panthers, Who Are +2300 to Win 2020 Stanley Cup?
- Roberto Luongo announced his retirement today after 19 seasons in the NHL
- James Reimer and Sam Montembeault are the top goalies on the Panthers depth chart
- But two-time Vezina Trophy-winner Sergei Bobrovsky may sign a long-term deal with Florida on July 1st
After 19 successful seasons in the National Hockey League, Roberto Luongo has decided to hang up his skates.
I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/BTuZIo8XT8
— Strombone (@strombone1) June 26, 2019
Despite losing their longtime tender, the Florida Panthers are actually in pretty good position heading into next year. Here's the case for why they are a great value play sitting at their current price of +2200 at Bovada, and +2300 on average in the 2020 Stanley Cup odds.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds
|Team||2020 Stanley Cup Odds at
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+675|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1000|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1000|
|St. Louis Blues||+1400|
|San Jose Sharks||+1600|
*odds taken 6/26/19.
Panthers Could Be Major Players In Free Agency
Unrestricted free agents are eligible to sign new deals as of July 1st and the Florida Panthers have long been rumored to be a major player. Their biggest target? Sergei Bobrovsky, who just so happens to be the only active goalie with more than one Vezina trophy.
The Panthers ranked fourth-last in goals against and second-last in save percentage last year. Bobrovsky would not only provide an instant upgrade, he would give the team one of the top goalies in the league.
Report: Bobrovsky, Panarin to meet with Panthers on Monday https://t.co/3Bp6nVnLNr pic.twitter.com/SSMEgxKFYX
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) June 22, 2019
One other reason not to be concerned about the Luongo news: the team has known he wasn't returning for months. The decision on Luongo has always been whether he would retire or be placed on Long Term Injured Reserve.
There was never a path to him returning to the lineup and the Panthers have been all-in on finding, not only his replacement, but a goalie to replace current back up James Reimer as well.
Florida Won't Stop With Bobrovsky Chase
If the team fails to land Bobrovsky, they will make a play at other UFA goalies like Mike Smith or Petr Mrazek. I don't have any hesitation that they'll solve be in a better position between the pipes heading into next year.
Bobrovsky, specifically, has a house in Florida and I believe will be paid whatever it takes, but if that chase comes up empty, an up-and-coming team in an income tax-free state won't have much issue finding a Plan B.
In addition to the new goalie, the team is expected to be in on the best forward available, Artemi Panarin. He is great friends with Bobrovsky and played with him in Columbus. Signing the pair is a likely outcome and would significantly swing the odds.
If you believe something could be cooking in Florida, I'd get my money in on them now because, if they do land the top FAs on the market, their +2200 price will be a distant memory
PICK: Florida Panthers (+2200)
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