Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason hip surgery and hopes to be ready for opening night, he told George Richards of the Miami Herald. Luongo underwent the operation back in May and was expected to miss the first month of the season, which played a role in their June trade for Reto Berra (and to a lesser degree, the signing of James Reimer). The 37 year old had the following to say about his rehab:
“I’m not 100 percent; it’s a five month rehab. But I’m feeling better than I thought I would. I thought it would be a slower progression, especially on the ice. It has gone fairly quickly and I’m happy about that. If the season were to start tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t be able to go. But I feel good where I’m at and I’m excited about it.”
Luongo noted that he was dealing with periodic groin pain throughout the season but didn’t think much of it as it would go away before too long. He tore his labrum in early March but was able to finish out the year and play in Florida’s playoff first round loss to the Islanders.
In the article, Richards also reports that Reimer is expected to play more than former backup Al Montoya (who signed with Montreal last month). Montoya saw action in 25 games last year, a mark that Reimer has surpassed in each of his six NHL seasons.
More from the Atlantic:
- Earlier today, the Panthers traded Dave Bolland to Arizona in what basically amounts as a cap dump for them, particularly since Bolland isn’t likely to play in 2016-17. The cost to do so was Lawson Crouse, a first round pick back in 2015. While that price may seem steep, Florida’s assistant GM Eric Joyce noted to the AP’s Stephen Whyno that it’s just “the cost of the business”. The fact that Bolland has three years left on his deal meant that it was going to be more expensive in terms of assets to move him than it was Marc Savard, whose rights were dealt with a second round pick to the Devils back in June.
- Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci is hoping to have a larger role with the man advantage in 2016-17, writes Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen. Ceci averaged just 32 seconds per game in power play time last year and had just a pair of assists. As Warren notes, Ceci should have a chance to make an early impression on new head coach Guy Boucher since Erik Karlsson (who logged 4:39 per game in PP time, second most in the NHL) will not be with the team to start training camp due to the World Cup of Hockey. Ceci signed a two year, $5.6MM bridge deal with the Senators earlier this week.