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A TALE OF THREE GOALIES: What Happens Next for the Florida Panthers Netminders?

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- What's next for Florida's goaltending situation?

Well it's pretty obvious that Roberto Luongo is your guy for the foreseeable future.

But what happens to Tim Thomas? Scott Clemmensen?

Well, Thomas said Tuesday that he heard about the Luongo deal on the bus heading to the arena. So, as of Tuesday night, he hadn't spoken to Dale Tallon.

Thomas has a no-trade clause in the one-year deal he signed in September.

Does Thomas stay for the rest of the year? Will he waive his no-trade and move to a contender?

On Tuesday, Thomas said he hadn't thought about leaving until Luongo got here.

"That's something that hadn't been discussed until this point,'' Thomas said. "That needs some discussion before comment.''

Said Tallon: "This all came out so quickly, I'll sit down and talk to Tim and see what he would like us to do. Goaltending is pretty solid with those two guys. We have to talk to Tim and see what he would like to do and we'll do the best we can to make this work. You can't win without great goaltending and we'll see what direction it takes us. We'll have a conversation [Wednesday] with Tim and see where it leads. This is a business decision and we felt we had to do it. It came out of nowhere.''

One would think it is easy money to bet on Thomas leaving but Thomas doesn't always do what everyone thinks. He's his own guy. He smiled at the question of whether he and Luongo could coexist in South Florida.

Tallon said he would like to have both of them stay in Florida.

"I have to see the situation, see what they're thinking,'' Thomas said. "I would like to talk to Dale before I comment on anything.''

Thomas and Luongo could definitely be entertaining together. When the battled in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Luongo seemed to take exception to something Thomas said about his style of play. Thomas responded with a now-famous line that he didn't know he was around to pump Luongo's tires -- which means stroke his ego.

Now the duo are teammates. For the time being.

"I have a line that probably someone else has thought of,'' Thomas said, almost beaming.

"It looks like Dale went kicking some tires and found one that needed pumping.''

Thomas then broke out laughing. When told of Luongo's tweet that said the two would "tear it up" in South Florida, Thomas nodded. Thomas wasn't told Luongo called him 'Tiny Tim.'

"It will be interesting, but I don't know how things will work out,'' Thomas said. "I am looking forward to it. It's going to be fun. It's like, I don't think it will be anything really. We're both old pros, have been in the league a long time and have a lot of experience.''

The future for Clemmensen is a little more murky.

Florida placed Clemmensen on waivers on Tuesday.

A few things can happen.

First, Clemmensen can be claimed by another team by noon and leave Florida.

Clemmensen could end up staying as Luongo's backup if Thomas is dealt, or, Clemmensen could be sent to AHL San Antonio if Thomas sticks around.

Tuesday, Clemmensen said he was just going to worry about what he could control.

"Instead of wracking my head, I'm going to wait it out,'' Clemmensen said. "I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm not going to try and figure it all out.''

 

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Old and bad as it is TT has the decency not to blame Bjugstad or Barkov, not so Luongo...forget about!

Any talian paeans left out there?

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