Why the Edmonton Oilers should be interested in Roberto Luongo, whose agent recently claimed he hadn’t heard about talk of his client going to the Maple Leafs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis noted a recent Vancouver Province report claiming the Oilers had made an offer for Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, suggesting Luongo could be a real difference maker for the Oilers. Willis believed the long-term risk of Luongo’s $5.33 million per season contract (which has ten more seasons remaining) could be allayed if the NHL’s proposal of counting long-term salaries of trade players back to their original team if they retire prematurely is implemented in the next CBA. Willis also believes Luongo would be an improvement over the Oilers current tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin, and doesn’t feel his game is in decline. Willis acknowledged Luongo’s “no-trade” clause, but it’s not certain he’d refuse to come to Edmonton.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Luongo’s agent, Gilles Lupien, recently expressed surprise over speculation his client was headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs following the lockout. Lupien said he hadn’t previously heard about the rumor, hadn’t spoken with Canucks GM Mike Gillis since June, and hadn’t been asked if his client would accept a trade to Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Willis’ take on Luongo potentially being a good fit with the Oilers, but I have my doubt Canucks management would ship him to a Conference rival, and if the NHL succeeds in its plan for divisional realignment, the two clubs would be division rivals, too. Let’s just say I consider the possibility of Luongo going to Edmonton a slim one.