Have You Got a Deal For Me

So we’re a month into the season, the Habs are in first place, a point in front of Ottawa. Show me anyone who would have picked that when camps broke, and I’ll bet his name is Tommy Flanagan. But even with the success that the team has seen thus far, not all seems content amongst certain Habs fans. There’s some concern about the state of the netminding down at the Phone Booth. I think it has more to do with an off-season rumour mixed with the potential of what could happen next summer as much as anything else.

We all saw reports of the “trade” that would have sent José Theodore and Michael Ryder to Florida for Roberto Luongo during training camp. It was reported by just about every sportswire in the country. Many said it was as good as done, all that was needed was a date for the press conference. But it never happened. As far as anyone knows, it was never more than a rumour. Hell if half the rumours turned out to be true, the Leafs would have enough players to ice two teams and teams wouldn’t have the players’ names on the jersey anymore because they woudln’t be able to keep up.

With José’s lack-lustre start this season – what else is new – it seems like a lot of that concern is keeping this wish alive. And when you throw in the fact that Luongo is not exactly happy with his current situation in Florida – specifically Mike Keenan – and he’s not signed beyond this season, some are drooling over the possibilities of what might be. But they seemingly don’t want to wait that long. They want Robbie and they want him yesterday.

Well kiddies, here’s the fly in the ointment. Wishing it just doesn’t make it happen. This ain’t NHL06, where you click a couple of buttons and suddenly Luongo’s in a bleu, blanc et rouge uniform. And the other “Mad Mike” isn’t a rookie GM either. He’s not going to get hoodwinked into doing Bob Gainey a solid and just hand him over on a silver platter. It’s going to take quid pro quo. But in all the clamour over “Luongo is better than Theo”, I’ve rarely seen anyone else mentioned when it comes to getting an actual trade done. So here’s the challenge to all those pro-Luongo GMs-in-training. What deal would you make?

But there are a couple of provisos to this challenge. First and foremost, it has to be a realistic deal. So instead of looking at your deal from Gainey’s point of view, I would suggest that you look at it from Keenan’s. If you had Luongo on your team, what would it take for you to trade him tomorrow. Not at the deadline or at the draft, tomorrow. I don’t want to see any Dagenais/Streit-for-Luongo offers, although I’m sure I will. Second, because they are so rare, let’s stay clear from the three-team deals. Since the main issue here is goaltending and the “who’s better” debate, let’s keep it at that. Other than that, it’s up to you. Throw in whatever players on either side you think make a credible deal. We’ll be the judge. And who knows, maybe Mike and Bob will get wind of one of ’em and you’ll get your wish.

p.s. whatever happens after this season, happens