Maple Leafs likely to pass on Rick Nash, pitch for Roberto Luongo

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Expensive accomplished players like Patrick Kane, Nash, Jay Bouwmeester and Roberto Luongo are possibly available for trade. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise appear set to leave Nashville and New Jersey respectively as free agents. Teams are getting set to make moves lockout or no lockout ahead.

Which brings us to the Maple Leafs.

It’s an intriguing time for GM Brian Burke and his staff as they contemplate the future. The expectation among many is that Burke is plotting aggressive ways of making sure the Leafs don’t miss post-season play again next season eyeing a veteran goaltender (Luongo?) in search of quality veterans to bolster Dion Phaneuf and the leadership group in the Toronto dressing room and searching for ways to get the No. 1 pick in next week’s draft.

There’s just not enough there yet even with some promising players with the Marlies to start aggressively thinking short-term like the Kings.

The likeliest scenario then is for something in between:

• A play for Luongo that might cost one good prospect.

• A mid-range NHL free agent.

• An aggressive bid for unsigned Anaheim blueline prospect Justin Schultz.

• No deal for Nash who may have scratched Toronto from his list of preferred destinations anyway.

• No move up from No. 5 in the draft and therefore ending up with a blue-chip youngster who will be back in junior or Europe next season.

The message? Staying the course no short-term fixes or at least none involving players who can only help for one or two years. Luongo, maybe, because he’s a long-term solution in the crease.

It would be a statement that the Leafs aren’t yet in the prospect-rich position L.A. was last summer but also that they believe enough in what they have put in place — Phaneuf as captain, Phil Kessel as the centrepiece up front — that a goaltending upgrade would make everything look better.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1211958–cox-maple-leafs-likely-to-pass-on-rick-nash-pitch-for-roberto-luongo?


31 Responses to Maple Leafs likely to pass on Rick Nash, pitch for Roberto Luongo

  1. mojo19 says:

    If all burke does is trade for Lu, sign a mid-level ufa, and maybe make a couple minor tweaks on top of that (ie sign or trade for some grinder), than hes an idiot.

  2. mojo19 says:

    Trivia question for you guys: what do these 3 players have in common? Justin Williams, Mark Recchi, Andrew Ladd.

  3. mojo19 says:

    If the Leafs get Luongo they will definitely make the playoffs next year, because 10 years ago when Lu was in his prime the Panthers always made it… oh wait.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      an excellent point, because of your post alone we shouldn’t get a goalie who got an Olympic gold medal, won a Conference championship, and made it to the Stanley Cup finals because there is no real guarantee that we could make the playoffs with Luongo.

      What is wrong with everyone, Luongo is the best goalie available. If we can get him for pieces we wont care about 1, 2, 5, 10 years from now then why are we finding arguments against it? He is a better goalie than everyone else we can get, the only thing that sucks is his contract…. wait a sec:

      1) $5.333M cap hit – that’s a pretty good hit for a goalie of his caliber

      2) $6.7M in cash – Leafs can afford it, who cares?

      3) He is under contract until he is 43 – That one kind of sucks but Brodeur is still playing great at 40 and Luongo’s contract only pays out $7M for the final 4 years ($3.5M for the last 3 years) indicating that he may retire before the contract is done which deletes it from the cap (heck even if he doesn’t with his NMC dissolved after the trade we can waive him to the minors when he starts sucking).

      I’m not seeing a bad side here, is it because we think Reimer or Scrivins can be a better goalie some day? Even if that unlikely scenario happens it wont happen this year at best we will end up with a backup that can run with the ball if Luongo is not getting the job done.

      • mojo19 says:

        Steve, Lu is on the decline. He came close to winning with Vancouver but he’s never gonna win a cup. Our goal should be to win a cup. A year and a half ago I may have agreed with you but his play in the last year and a half has been so poor.

        He won gold at the Olympics playing poorly. Of all the high profile goalies in the league he is the least clutch and most susceptible to giving up bad goals. Case and point in the Olympics the states tied it up in the final minute with a bad angle shot from the corner. Thank god for Iggy and Sid.

        As for his trip to the cup final, he relinquished a 3-0 series lead against Chicago before winning in 7 (with the help of Schneider)then he snuck by the massively inferior predators, allowing a number of brutal goals from all areas including the corner and behind the net, many of them clutch goals in the latter half of the third or even in the dying minutes. The canucks simply couldn’t buy a clutch save from Lu. He played well in the conference final and I will give him credit, but the meltdown in the cup final (losing 8-1, pulled early in a 4-0 loss, pulled early again in a 5-2 loss) coupled with his shakey tending in this year’s playoffs, I just have no interest.

        Don’t be fooled by the name power and fact that he played on a good team, hes far from a great goalie.

        • nordiques100 says:

          He’s better than Scott Clemmensen. Oh wait, Clemmensen is American. so in Burke’s eyes, maybe not.

          • mojo19 says:

            My hope is that we get Timmy Thomas. Ideally Boston buys him out and he goes UFA.

            Johan Hedberg is a good choice if we can get him. He would make sense if Burkes plan is to get a temporary guy as we buy Reimer some time. If you believe Burkes comments (I know, grain of salt, but…) He seems to indicate were gonna find a vet on a 1 year deal and have Reimer still be the guy of the future. So I’m not too worried about picking up Lu.

            For the record I don’t think Lu is bad, he’s just average. He’s great one game, brutal another, solid another, then maybe a bad angle goal, etc. So since he’s not special, why pick him up when like Steve said were gonna have him in the minors when he starts sucking, and that could be as soon as a year or two from now.

            • Steven_Leafs0 says:

              so you don’t want Luongo because he is on the decline but your for going after Thomas or Hedberg who are likely going to retire very soon?

              LOL

              • mojo19 says:

                I think we should get the best available goalie. As of right now both Thomas and Hedberg are better than Luongo, will both come cheaper, and on more reasonable term, which will give us more flexibility in all areas.

                Why would we go for a lesser goalie, who is more expensive, and on a ridiculous term? It just doesn’t make any sense any way you slice it.

                • Shoelesshobo says:

                  I don’t understand this logic. You want to target the following…

                  – Tim Thomas Age: 38
                  – Johan Hedberg Age: 39

                  But yet you would not want Luongo as to fear of him going on the decline or him being the lesser goalie? All I have to say is how is Hedberg a career back up better then Luongo a guy who has a gold medal, nominated for the hart and vezina trophy nominee.

                  As for Tim honestly I want no part of him mainly because I think his mindset is way too unstable for a pressure cooker that is Toronto. I mean this is the guy who is taking the year off because of a simple media meltdown in beantown and you don’t think the minute Toronto fans turn on him he wont do the same thing? I rather leave him where he is. Timmy may be a good goalie but he would not survive in Toronto.

                  I am not one to be praising move the earth to get Lou but if it is as simple as moving Tiny Tim Connolly or Colby Armstrong I am not going to be complaining.

                  • mojo19 says:

                    Hedberg is better than Luongo based on their play the last two seasons. Its as simple as that. You’re listing Luongo’s accomplishments but ignoring his actual play. Hedberg has always been an awesome goalie. The one advantage to Lu over Johan is that Luongo can handle a much bigger work load. For that reason, Luongo gets the advantage, but in terms of quality goaltending, Lu is just not as good.

                    As for Tim Thomas, don’t believe everything you read and hear. Thomas is sticking it to his bosses, not stressing out. Thomas’ no trade clause is lifted after July 1st and he wants to control his fate. By announcing he’s taking a year off he takes the leverage out of Boston’s hands and puts it back into his own. Pretty smart move by a pretty smart guy.

                    Obviously Thomas is a better goalie than anyone who might be available (the only guy who even comes close is Kipper, who would cost an arm and a leg if he’s even available at all.) So I can’t imagine anyone would complain if were able to sign Thomas for nothing. I’m hoping Boston will buy him out. Before Burke makes any moves he should at least wait until after the buy out period.

                    I wouldn’t pick up Luongo off waivers. I would trade Komisarek and Armstrong for Luongo and two 1sts, that would be my demands if I were running the Leafs. If Gillis doesn’t like it he can suck my d i ck. I’d be just as happy signing Biron, who is just as good, or Harding, etc. Average goalies are out there, why are you guys all drooling over a guy who is over paid, on a long term deal, and has a hard time stopping the puck regularly?

                    Once again, forget about the name and actually think about how he plays in goal. I hope this has been informative.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      Bryzgalov was nominated for a Vezina too, but I wouldn’t pick up his shitty contract either. He’s really not that great of a goalie either. He’s average. Don’t be fooled by “names” boys.

                      You guys are good guys, but you either don’t watch the games, or you don’t have a great eye for goaltending.

  4. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Well as we all know Brian is in the entertainent business, not the hockey business so maybe he could at least produce some drama for us this summer. No impact moves should amount to hitting the reset button on management to make this thing interesting. Maybe new management might not severly handicap the Leafs by allowing them to offer competitive contracts.

    15 GMs on the team and what did they do this year? What do you expect them to accomplish this summer? I don’t understand people already forgiving him saying ‘what can he really do beyond Schultz?’. There is a whole team of ‘experts’ (but really they’re a bunch of ex jock players who never been validating for coming up with a good idea in their lives, it’s just not their skill set) that are paid huge salaries to excute their mediocre judgement.

    Sorry I’m mistaken, this mensa group did collectively bend over for Grabovski’s agent. That was this year’s big play. In the words of Propaghandi ‘Kill them all and let a Norse God sort them out’.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I’m not forgiving him. I am just accepting the fact I don’t expect anything to happen.

      What is the point in getting my hopes up only to get crushed.

      I’m going to set it up so that I am absolutely floored and surprised if this isn’t the Leaf’s opening lineup with perhaps a handful of minor moves.

      Reimer/Scrivens in goal

      Gunnarsson/Phaneuf
      Gardiner/Schenn
      Liles/Franson
      Komisarek/Holzer

      on D.

      Lupul/Bozak/Kessel
      Mac/Grabs/Kulemin
      Brown/Steckel/Komarov
      Lombardi/Connolly/Armstrong
      Orr
      up front.

      Frattin/Colborne/Kadri/Ashton/Percy/Biggs/Blacker/Meuller/McKegg/D’Amigo and the 5th overall pick as our “deep pool of prospects”

      If their were 5 moves to expect, well its:

      Penner, Parros, Schultz, Clemmensen, and making the 5th overall pick. And we can’t call him a liar either. He said he’d get bigger, tougher, improve the D and add a veteran goalie. And if the 5th pick is a centre, like Grigorenko say, that’s the big centre he’s been looking for.

      Everything he said was completely true. We’re suppose to blame ourselves if we took it out of context.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Yep, the only thing you missed is that he’ll sign another desperate short term deal for a band aid.

        This is disgusting, I have more accountablity at my job, if I did nothing for year I’d probably get axed let alone have a team of people to wipe my ass and still suck.

        If you don’t make progress from year to year you get fired that’s how careers should work.

        He’s so terrible that we collectively expect him to fail yet like JFJ we have to wait to watch it play out.

        At least a new GM would have to make a statement.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        To follow up the forth line of

        Lombardi/Connolly/Armstrong…. what’s that 10 million of dead weight cap space then add in Komisarek to make it and even 15?

        This is better than giving Kovalchuk a long term contract (he signed in NJ, it was about the money we could have bought him). I don’t even care if he makes a good trade this summer this is inexcusable and he should be fired for it. JFJ didn’t piss away 15 million on nothing, at McCabe and Kubina weren’t in the press box ever other night.

        • nordiques100 says:

          I understand to some degree what people have been saying.

          We got Franson out of adding Lombardi. The trades have been ok for the most part. etc, etc.

          Its the body of work combined, as a whole, not just the trades. The poor record in free agency. the Wilson re-signing. the diversion from the “plans”. Just the way he conducts himself in the media. You don’t need to be personable. You just need to be way less antagonistic. It looks childish and embarrassing. And last of all, 4 straight missed playoffs. That’s failure to me.

          This is where I don’t really understand the strong, supportive stance for him. He’s done some good, but it doesn’t outweigh the bad.

          • mojo19 says:

            Excluding the team JFJ inherited from Quinn that put up 103 points in 2004, I’m just gonna do a post lockout comparison. JFJ lost Leetch, Mogilny, Nolan, Nieuwy Roberts, etc. after the lockout and it really became his team, adding his guys (Allison, Lindros, O’Neil, etc.)

            JFJ’s teams put up 90, 91, and 83 points. Finishing in 9th, 9th, and 12th.
            Burke’s teams put up 81, 74, 85, 80 points. Finishing in 12th, 15th, 10th, and 13th.

            There should be an asterisks beside the 2 9th place finishes for JFJ because Sundin was on those team’s and he pretty much single handily won 5 or 6 games in each of those seasons. But still, the point is, Burke has made a lot of changes but the team hasn’t gotten any better at all.

            Did we get younger? Sure MacArthur and Bozak are younger than Poni and Antropov, but they’re no better, their upside isn’t any higher. Its one thing to get young guys who have potential to do great things, but the guys who Burke has brought in pretty much are what they are. They’re average.

  5. ZillyHoo says:

    You guys seem bitter about this season in general. I am too.

    But as always, we shall wait and see.

  6. nordiques100 says:

    I would give Burke props if he went off the board and took Teravainen at 5 if its down to Murray, Forsberg or him.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I don’t get why everyone is so down on Murray, he’s the one guy in this draft with franchise blueliner potential.

      • mojo19 says:

        Ya I really don’t want a dman or small winger, but if Murray is around at 5 we should take him.

        I doubt he will be though, he played for Canada at the Worlds last month and its safe to say he’s nhl ready. Whoever drafts him will play him. He’s arguably the safest bet to not bust in the draft.

      • reinjosh says:

        See that’s my issue with him. I don’t actually think he has franchise blueliner potential. I like him, but I don’t think his upside is higher than a guy like Dumba/Trouba/Reinhart.

        He’s getting the Schenn treatment. He’s a solid guy that can jump into the NHL right away, but his upside is limited.

        At least that’s what I see from him. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          Josh I’ll give you that, you’re the prospect guy on these boards and if the Wolves are having a bad year I ignore juniors.

          I don’t want another blueliner in the system but if Murray is kicking around at 5 he’d make great trade bait.

          • mojo19 says:

            Ya fair enough. Good comparison with Schenn. NHL ready at 18 doesn’t necessarily translate into star.

          • reinjosh says:

            Well to be honest I don’t know a ton about him like some other guys but I just don’t see the “number 1 guy” thing with him. If management thinks he does, well then I have no issue taking him. I’m with you, I don’t want another blueliner really unless he has some high high potential.

            I also think I see it as this draft being so deep with defensive talent. I think we might almost be better off moving back a couple picks, drafting a guy who has similar upside but longer development and getting extra assets.

            Clearly I want a blue chip guy but if the forwards are gone, I’m not so high on Murray that I wouldn’t consider trading back at this point.

            And I’d consider the pick as trade bait as well.

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