Roberto Luongo, of all people fuels Stamkos-to-Leafs fire

This year’s NHL all-star game has been a lot of fun. PK Subban has continued to be the face that the league deserves but refuses to use, Jaromir Jagr has proven himself to be ageless, and John Scott has embarrassed the league by being completely and totally able to keep up despite the league’s repeated attempts to keep him away from the event.

Leo Komarov has been a lot of fun too, he hasn’t really stood out in any of the events, but the Instagrams of cowboy hats and goofy smiles have been great. But we all know that next year, the Leafs need an all star that’s truly in the elite class of the league; something that Roberto Luongo agrees with.

Stamkos, of course, is an unrestricted free agent in July, and the subject of infinite speculation linking him to his hometown team. But Luongo is no stranger to the Leafs hype either. Before James Reimer went on his miracle run in the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season, the Leafs were rumoured to be highly interested in the then-Vancouver Canucks starting goaltender. A pre-season deal never materialized after Mike Gillis requested a hefty return, but when the price fell later in the season, a smaller deal that would have sent Ben Scrivens and a draft pick to Vancouver was close enough to pull Luongo off the ice in practice.

Ultimately, the Leafs decided to ride Reimer for the rest of the year and added Jonathan Bernier in the summer, while Luongo eventually made his way back to the Florida Panthers, the team where he originally established himself. But he clearly has a sense of humour about the speculation, and obviously couldn’t resist taking a jab at his temporary teammates.

All I ask, though, Roberto, is to not get my hopes too far up. I don’t have it in me to get burned again.

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