The Vancouver Canucks' $6-million man joined his new teammates for the first time yesterday.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo, acquired from the Florida Panthers in June's blockbuster trade for Todd Bertuzzi, arrived Tuesday in Vancouver and worked out Wednesday with Canucks' goaltending consultant Ian Clark. Luongo and the rest of the NHL squad underwent medical examinations and physical testing at General Motors Place yesterday before leaving for training camp in Vernon.
"It's going to be important to meet everybody on the team, get to know everybody and really settle into the locker room," Luongo said. "You want to have a good feeling coming out of training camp."
Luongo signed a four-year, $27-million deal with the Canucks at the end of June. He has played internationally for Canada, but never appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game.
The 27-year-old Montrealer played in 75 Panthers games last season and compiled a 35-30 record and 2.97 goals against average.
"He feels he has a lot to prove as far as him being a winner in this league and what a great place to start," said Canucks' head coach Alain Vigneault. Luongo is joined by four other goaltenders at camp. Veteran Wade Flaherty, minor leaguer Drew MacIntyre and juniors Julien Ellis and Alexandre Vincent are competing for the backup job.
Canucks begin four days of workouts at Vernon and District MultiPlex this morning and meet the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday in the first of eight exhibition games. Anaheim Ducks visit GM Place on Sept. 24. Regular season begins on the road Oct. 5 against the Detroit Red Wings. Canucks' home debut is Oct. 13 against the San Jose Sharks. Single-game tickets go on sale tomorrow.