Get the latest on Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Ales Hemsky and more.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE/SPORTSNET.CA: Ben Kuzma and Dan Murphy speculate over why Roberto Luongo decided to hire new agents to represent him, suggesting perhaps they might do a better job finding a trade partner than his previous agent did.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps they can, but if they can do it this summer, they’re not agents, they’re miracle workers. There’s not much of a market for goaltenders this summer (just ask Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov), particularly for a goalie carrying a contract with nine years and $40.5 million left on it, plus a no-trade clause giving him control over where he could be dealt.
Even if the Canucks were willing to pick up half Luongo’s contract this summer, it still won’t be easy to move him. Luongo has few options available this summer. He either reports to the Canucks, refuses to report and gets suspended, or retires. It’s in his best interests to report and play his best, while his new agents try to shop his services around the league. A strong performance this season will go a long way toward improving his trade value.
SI.COM: Allan Muir reports UFA goalie Tim Thomas has limited options this summer, suggesting the Florida Panthers might be his best bet as a training camp invite. Otherwise, Thomas might have to wait until earlier in the season to land an NHL contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Muir noted, the Panthers are trying to attract fans and Thomas might help in that regard, but they won’t just hand him a contract and make him their starter. GM Dale Tallon insists he’ll stick with his younger players and that includes goalie Jacob Markstrom. Unless Markstrom and Scott Clemmensson struggles in preseason/early season play, they’re the Panthers tandem this season. Other clubs (Flyers, Islanders, Flames) will also enter training camp with questionable goaltending, but like the Panthers I expect those clubs will take some time to evaluate their goaltending before looking at Thomas as an option.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance lists Thomas, Mikhail Grabovski, Damien Brunner, Dan Cleary, Brad Boyes and Brenden Morrow among the best remaining unrestricted free agents.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of this group, I expect all but Thomas will be under contract when the season starts. That’s not a slight against Thomas, just an indication of the low demand for goalies this summer.
EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson wonders if Ales Hemsky could be dealt to the Nashville Predators or Phoenix Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If those clubs were interested, wouldn’t they have tried to acquire him by now? Maybe they’ll have more interest during training camp if they feel the need to bolster their offense, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to get the Oilers to pick up part of his salary.