"The move was no less bold for Panthers GM Mike Keenan, who could not come to terms with Luongo in spite of offering him a five-year, $30-million deal that would have made him one of the highest-paid netminders in the game. Presumably, Nonis is prepared to make Luongo an offer that will make him happy enough to turn his back on a date with unrestricted free agency next summer, somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million annually. If Nonis cannot pull that off, this trade is fraught with even greater risk for Nonis."
It's hard to imagine a situation in which the hard-nosed, sometimes bombastic Keenan is seen in a sympathetic light, but this is it. Faced with the prospect of losing one of the top young goaltenders in the game to free agency next summer, Keenan chose to act now rather than wait and see if Luongo's temperament changed."