Category Archives: Trade Rumors
Despite months of rumors, the season opened with Roberto Luongo still in Vancouver, albeit with his status changed from franchise goalie to Cory Schneider’s backup. Not a good look, and not one likely to remain long, given his $5.33 million cap hit. The most logical landing spots for Bobby Lu are Toronto or Florida (where he formerly wore his Apollo 13-sized pads). One source claims Brian Burke, recently pushed aside as Leafs GM, worked out a deal for Luongo with Canucks GM Mike Gillis over the summer, one that would have delivered the goalie to Toronto when the lockout ended. Ex-Canucks exec Dave Nonis, now the Leafs GM, made the deal in 2006 that brought Luongo to Vancouver and also signed him to his monster contract. Toronto remains the front-runner for Luongo, but that could change rapidly, if a club with shaky goaltending (Chicago?) stumbles out of the gate.
Not many expected Luongo to still be with the Canucks once the shortened season began, but you’ve got to give GM Mike Gillis credit for being patient in trying to drive up the price for the veteran goalie and not just giving him away.
While Cory Schneider is the starter for the Canucks, he’s one bad game or untimely goal away from giving way to Luongo. If that doesn’t happen, then sooner or later somebody will be desperate enough to give Gillis what he wants.
“I’m not going to give up youth for older players,” Nonis told ESPN. “We would trade a young player for a young player. But we’re not going to trade a bunch of young players or first-round picks for short-term gain. You can’t build a club that way.”
Bozak is 26 and after 2½ years in the National Hockey League is still trending upwards. He had 47 points last season and led Toronto centres with an average ice time of 18:50. Bozak’s value to Nonis can be measured on the transaction wire this week: the GM traded Maple Leaf centre Lombardi and waived the overpaid, overrated Connolly.
The Red Wings continue to search for help on defense, but it won’t include Wade Redden. They could instead take a look at Toronto’s Cody Franson.
Luongo to Leafs losing steam with Toronto making roster room for Kadri after putting Connolly on waivers and expecting more from Bozak.
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) January 17, 2013
The rumour that the Toronto Maple Leafs have an interest in trading for the Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Bernier apparently will not die despite it being a terrible idea to move assets for the 24 year old. In the summer, Andi Petrillo passed along a HockeyyInsiderr (not the funny one, at least not intentionally so) rumour that the Maple Leafs made an offer to Jonathan Bernier which didn’t really make any sense because that’s not how trades work. Chemmy’s conclusion that it was likely a move to put a little bit of pressure on the Roberto Luongo trade negotiations with the Vancouver Canucks seemed right.
More recently, one of the last rumours to come out of the Brian Burke Era was that he was done negotiating with the Kings:
Sadly, it seems to have come back under new GM Dave Nonis. Although, you have to think that this is once again a bargaining tactic just like Gillis saying that he’ be happy starting the season with two starters and multiple holes in his lineup is just posturing.
Obviously, my reaction tilted towards abject panic that the Leafs might be about to part with some useful assets for a Bernier because he’s not an upgrade on what the Leafs currently have. There was some dissent on Twitter about that as they either felt he was an upgrade (he’s not) or felt it was better to pay less for Bernier than Luongo. I think it’s better to trade for a really good goalie than a bad goalie even if one costs $4M more and is signed through to the next Mayan Apocalypse. Especially for a team that can afford almost any possible cap penalty under the “Luongo Rule” moreso when the salary cap will continue to increase as evidenced by the massive outpouring of attention that training camps have received.
Outside the organization, another theory is that Burke was unsure about including Nazem Kadri in any potential Roberto Luongo trade. Reason? What if Anaheim decided to move Perry or Getzlaf? It’s harder to do it without Kadri in return. It comes down to priorities — if you do decide to trade him, who is your first choice?
Bozak, Kadri and a second rounder? Wayyy too much for Luongo. And there’s no other team willing to pay that price either.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) January 16, 2013
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Murray confirmed he has been working the phones, but the asking prices are high if he wants to make a deal. That’s because blueliners are at a premium and a lot of teams are looking.
“We keep talking. I’ve been talking to a variety of teams about what they might have available,” said Murray. “It doesn’t sound promising at the moment. Not a lot of people are going to give unless you give a lot back.
“We’ll keep looking and talking. The priority right now is to promote our own people. We’ve got a number of young guys that are probably deserving of a look early on in particular, and then we’ll have to see.”
It’s possible Lamoriello waits to see how his team plays early in the season before making a move. Having extra defensemen in reserve over the course of a contracted schedule of 48 games after a four-month lockout certainly can’t hurt in case one or two are injured.
But with only 48 games, it can get late pretty early if the team struggles to score goals and gets off to a slow start.
Defense is clearly an area of depth for the Devils now, though, and moving forward. They have Alex Urbom and Eric Gelinas waiting on their AHL team in Albany for an opening on the NHL club and 2010 second-round pick Jon Merrill, probably their best prospect on defense, might be ready to leave the University of Michigan after this season.
As training camp opened Sunday, Gillis said the team isn’t rushing into trade discussions but has fielded multiple offers. As of Sunday, Gillis said Luongo would be part of the Canucks unless trade offers improve.
“We’re at a point with this team where we want specific types of players coming back to us that can help us today and down the road,” Gillis told the Vancouver Sun. “I think that’s a reasonable request so we’re going to stick to it.”
Gillis on Luongo trade scenarios:”I haven’t talked to anybody about taking a portion of his contract. Everything is on the table.”
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) January 13, 2013
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has yet to see the 2013 version of his team practice, let alone compete in a game, but that hasn’t stopped Maloney from seeking personnel improvement.
In the days leading up to the start of training camp on Sunday, Maloney thought he might have been able to orchestrate a trade and have it waiting in the hopper to execute once the NHL and players’ association agreed to a memorandum of understanding Saturday night that officially ended the lockout.