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Louie's Back

Luongo3Roberto Luongo was back on familiar ice Tuesday, working out at Incredible Ice with a bunch of his former Florida teammates.

Luongo has spent time this summer working out at Incredible Ice while staying at his Parkland home, but is gearing up for training camp of his own in British Columbia.

Luongo was wearing his Vancouver practice jersey, his white 'Johnny Canuck' mask and green and blue pads; after practice, he spoke about a number of things, including how exciting Vancouver's playoff run was last season. Luongo looks tan, healthy and happy; he looks ready to pick up where he left off.

Luongo says he believes a lot of the bitterness is gone about last year's trade and that he thinks this is Florida's year to break though.

Last season when the Panthers came to Vancouver, Roberto seemed to mock the Panthers' always-sunny disposition, saying "from what I see, I don’t think things have changed very much down there. I know they are not where they want to be in the standings, and that’s the main issue. First and foremost you want to be in the playoffs and they need to go on a bit of a run to get back in the race. ''

Roberto on Tuesday: "I think this year might be the year they finally make the playoffs. They've made some good moves during the offseason. It would be nice to see the team succeed here because the fan base is only going to grow if that happens. It's a nice place to play so it would be a shame to have another season like they've had in the past. Again, I think this year it's time for them to make their stride.''

Also: "I'm fortunate that they let me skate here, that those guys would invite me back. Obviously, as I've said a million times before, my plan was not for me to leave here. But things happen for a reason, and for me, things couldn't have worked out better. And now I get to enjoy the summers down here. With the heat. And the rain. I get the rain in both places. It's all right though. I'm not going to complain.''

Louie says he spent the past couple weeks in Montreal and is back in town packing up and getting ready for training camp. He adds he can't wait for Vancouver's visit to South Florida in Feb., and adds the game will be a sellout if only because his in-laws will buy so many tickets.