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Lightning Round: Roberto Luongo could be the next Hockey Man

and Sam Bennett gets suspended.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 10: Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers stretches on the ice during warm ups prior to the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the BB&T Center on February 10, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have reached out to future hall of fame goaltender Roberto Luongo in the hopes that he will be their next GM. The french-speaking Quebecor, now Floridian, has been a “special assistant to the GM” for the Florida Panthers since his retirement with the team he spent parts of 11 seasons with back in 2019.

Lu’s resume as a player is undeniable, but his career as a hockey executive leaves something to be desired — although he’s not completely devoid of experience. His only time as the shot-caller was in 2020 when he created the World Championships roster for Team Canada as their GM. While not a complete pick of the litter, he still got to choose 24 NHLers for the tournament for free.

If Lu wants to work in hockey, that’s great, he’s a great personality with an even bigger heart, but I could name a lot of people who’ve never been in an NHL front office role who are more qualified than him. Lucky for him, all the Canadiens seem to want is a legendarily famous French-speaking former player to look pretty so Jeff Gorton doesn’t have to learn another language. This is just me, but if I was a self-respecting person who deserved to be a GM (which I’m not) I don’t think I would take this job to be a puppet. Maybe that’s good for someone like Pierre Dorion, or some former player who just wants to party with all the Habs alum like the Oilers original “Hockey Men” did for decades, but I don’t think a serious person is taking this job. That role is already filled.

Lightning Links

The Lightning lost to the New York Rangers on Sunday night. Not a memorable game by any stretch. Call it a preseason game for Vasy and the guys just back from COVID protocol. At least around the NHL the scores were just as high and weird. [Raw Charge]

“Igor Shesterkin made 38 saves and Mika Zibanejad recorded a hat trick as the New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-0, in a Sunday matinee at Madison Square Gardens. Andrei Vasilevsky returned from his stint in COVID protocol to make 17 saves on 21 shots. Anthony Cirelli also returned to the line-up from his quarantine while Erik Cernak returned from a lower-body injury.”

Florida’s Sam Bennett has been suspended three games for his hit to the head of former Bolt Cedric Paquette.

James Neal is on waivers! First interesting placement in a while.