Roberto Luongo thought he was untradeable. The Panthers found a way to bring him back to Florida.
After nearly eight years apart, Luongo was the centerpiece of a four-player trade between Florida and the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday. The Panthers sent goalie Jacob Markstrom — once considered their future in net — and forward Shawn Mattias to the Canucks for Luongo and forward Steven Anthony.
It’s a bold move for the Panthers, who almost certainly will wind up missing the playoffs for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons.
‘‘We’re getting a great goaltender, a proven commodity,’’ Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. ‘‘Jacob has got great upside but we needed to make a statement and Luongo’s numbers are terrific.
“I just like what he brings to the table, giving us stability and his experience and a chance for us to win. You have to pay the price to get guys like this.’’
And the Panthers paid a big price.
Markstrom’s potential had been spoken about for years and he certainly could have been a more affordable option than Luongo, whose $64 million deal doesn’t expire until the end of the 2021-22 season.
In Florida, Luongo will be teammates with former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. The two famously opposed each other in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which the Bruins won in seven games.
During the series, Luongo talked about Thomas’s play, remarking, “I’ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started and I haven’t heard one nice thing he had to say about me.”
Thomas quipped back, “I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires.”
Now the question in Florida becomes what to do with Thomas, who started in net Tuesday night at TD Garden as the Panthers faced the Bruins.
Thomas has a no-trade clause, and Tallon expected to meet with him no later than Wednesday morning to see how the 39-year-old wanted to proceed.
Around the start of the game, Luongo tweeted that he and Thomas would be a ‘‘dream team’’ together.
‘‘I'll see what he would like us to do,’’ Tallon said. ‘‘Goaltending’s pretty solid with those two guys.’’
Tallon was also busy Tuesday, sending defenseman Mike Weaver to Montreal for a fifth-round draft choice in 2015 and signing forward Brad Boyes to a two-year contract extension.
MacDonald to Flyers
The Islanders are sending veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald to the Metropolitan Division rival Flyers for a pair of draft picks and minor league center Matt Mangene. MacDonald, who was considered to be a possible trade target of the Bruins, will bolster the Flyers’ defense as they push for a playoff spot.
Capitals acquire Penner
Washington acquired forward Dustin Penner from the Ducks for a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft. The 31-year-old Penner gives the Capitals a potential top-line left wing as they make a push to get into playoff position with 20 games to go in the regular season. Penner is set to become a free agent this summer. He signed a one-year, $2 million contract last year. He has played for the Kings, Oilers, and the Ducks over nine seasons. This season, he has 13 goals and 19 assists with Anaheim . . . The Capitals also sent forwards Martin Erat and John Mitchell to the Coyotes for forward Chris Brown, defenseman Rostislav Klesla, and a fourth-round selection in the 2015 draft.
Wild get Bryzgalov
Minnesota traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Oilers for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The 33-year-old Russian had a 5-8-5 record in 20 games this season with a 3.01 goals-against average, and he’s on a one-year contract, allowing the Wild to acquire him at relatively low cost. Bryzgalov’s career record is 213-157-50, including a 42-20-6 mark for the Coyotes during the 2009-10 season, his best in the NHL.
Defense for Chicago
The Blackhawks acquired defensemen David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois in a trade with the Coyotes. The defending Stanley Cup champions parted with a second-round selection in this year’s draft to complete the trade . . . The Ducks acquired defenseman Stephane Robidas from the Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick in this year’s draft . . . Goaltender Anton Khudobin and the Hurricanes agreed to a $4.5 million, two-year contract.