Anticipating the Canucks Post-Lockout Moves – December 30, 2012.

Should the NHL lockout end with a season-saving deal in mid-January, there could be some significant changes coming for the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo first order of business for Canucks post-lockout.

Trading Luongo first order of business for Canucks management post-lockout.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma expects the first significant post-lockout move by the Canucks will be attempting to get a good return for goaltender Roberto Luongo. Even if the club were to buy out the remainder of Luongo’s contract, Kuzma points out they still need a third-line center, a depth defenseman and a backup goaltender.

He feels the Toronto Maple Leafs remain at the front of the line for Luongo, suggesting the Canucks target center Tyler Bozak and defenseman Cody Franson. Candidates for a backup include Eddie Lack (currently on the Canucks farm team), or perhaps a free agent option like Dan Ellis, who told Kuzma via e-mail he’d be receptive to backing up Cory Schneider.

Tony Gallagher, meanwhile, suggested Keith Ballard as a possible buyout candidate if the Canucks need to free up cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should there be significant progress toward a new CBA over the next couple of weeks we can expect the trade and free agent rumor mill to creak slowly back to life. When it does, Roberto Luongo will be its dominant name. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Bozak suggested as part of the return if the Canucks were to ship “Bobby Lu” to Toronto, but it is the first time Franson’s name has popped up.

For now, we have no idea what plans Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has in store post-lockout for his club. If he does pursue Luongo, I’d expect he’ll have to part with Bozak, and might entertain the possibility of adding Franson if his contract negotiations (he’s currently an unsigned RFA) prove difficult.

7 Comments

  1. Holzer or Blacker maybe from the Leafs with Bozak, but doubt they move Franson. Komi is the perfect target for a buy-out and Franson is the better than perfect replacement to be full time on the roster. Not that it would matter as this is nothing close to a playoff team.

    Lupul – Van Riemsdyk – Kessel
    Kadri – Grabovski – Kulemin
    MacArthur – Connolly – Frattin
    McClement – Steckel – Brown

    Phaneuf – Gunnerson
    Gardiner – Franson/Holzer/Komisarek/???
    Liles – Franson/Holzer/Komisarek/???

    Luongo
    Riemer

    Seriously, even as a Leafs fan I realize that isn’t a cup winning team and I am more concerned because the Marlies are playing decent, but aren’t tearing it up and none of our ‘top prospects’ outside of Kadri is even doing all that well in the AHL which doesn’t give me hope for a positive future anytime soon. Sticking with Riems, getting a cheap vet to back him up, losing the bigger hits of guys like Komisarek, MacArthur. Lombardi, Connolly via buy-out/free agency this year, getting a good high draft pick and continuing to rebuild and try and pick up so free agents this year would be the best IMO.

    For Vancouver. If they can dump Luongo, get a solid 3rd line centre and depth defenseman back, as well as buy out Ballard that would be huge for the team and they will be very dangerous in the west, Schneider is the real deal and Lack is going to push him in the next few years himself.

    • “For Vancouver. If they can dump Luongo, get a solid 3rd line centre and depth defenseman back, as well as buy out Ballard that would be huge for the team and they will be very dangerous in the west, Schneider is the real deal and Lack is going to push him in the next few years himself.”

      Why would the Canucks give up a top 3-5 goalie in the league in return for a third line centre. Better keep him until the summer.

  2. I think if Vancouver wanted a good return for Lu-on-the-go, this is possibly the single worst time. The problem is many teams are going to be looking to dump salary, not pick up more. In addition, I suspect the lack of suitors may cause potentially interested teams to sit and wait for a buyout. Toronto may just sit back and offer up a 4th round pick, or just wait for a buyout. As for a third line center, I would imagine that there should be plenty available.

    If I was Toronto, I’d stay away from Luongo and try to pluck Bernier from the Kings. I think Bernier ends up being a much better long-term option and he’ll come much cheaper in terms of cap hit.

  3. Why would the ‘Nuck management give up an Olympian goal tender for a third line centre and a throw in # 5-6 D’man. Kuzma is an idiot. With the Sedins starting to age, from the Canucks rational, they need a young prospect or draft choices, especially in light of a Salary Cap that is going down. Mike Gillis might be a lot of things but don’t include idiot in his resume. Bozak is a player given more credit than he deserves because he’s competing on a poor roster . Here’s a question would Pitts trade Marc-Andre Fleury for Bozak and a spare part ? Now remember the Cdn Olympian brains trust ranked Luongo ahead of Fleury

    It just doesn’t make any sense

    • You don’t make any sense, remember Lou is signed until 2022 at $5.33 mill/season which puts him well into his 40’s. If that isn’t a good enough reason for you that he isn’t worth much on the trade front then remember that there are few teams in the league right now that feel they need a new number 1 goalie. Oh and the fact that Lou has the stigma of not performing well in big games when called upon. Any GM that trades any asset at all for this guy should be shot and pissed on immedeatly.

      • The Canucks won’t get a huge return for Roberto but they will still get a decent one. What that will be is up in the air still.

  4. Tony Gallagher and Ben Kuzma are horrible journalists and sometimes I wonder if they even watch the Canucks, I think Kuzma forgot we have Lapierre as our 3rd line center so him implying we trade the face of our franchise for Bozak and a boarder line NHL defenseman on a weak lineup is ridiculous to say the least, and completely undermines Luongo’s value who has backstopped the Canucks to two president trophies and a stanley cup appearance in the past two NHL seasons.

    Kesler is 3-4 weeks away from returning to the lineup, and once he returns, the Canucks again will have one of the deepest lineups in the league.

    D.Sedin H.Sedin Burrows
    Booth Kesler Higgins
    Raymond Lapierre Hansen
    Malholtra Kassian

    Edler Hamuis
    Beiksa Ballard
    Garrison Tanev/Alberts

    During the course of the season, if Luongo plays well his stock will only rise, and teams with suspect goaltending who will feel pressure to make the playoffs like Toronto, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Florida, and Edmonton could be possible suitors, especially if the playoffs is a realistic possibility, they wont blink at the opportunity to acquire a proven NHL starter who’s put up consistent numbers at a high level throughout his career.

    Luongo’s return should be nothing less then a top 6 forward, prospect and a pick, even if Gillis has to throw in Raymond or a pick of his own, the Canucks, need to add another solid forward to the mix that can force either Burrows off the top line or push Higgins or Booth to the 3rd.

    Injuries and suspensions cost the Canucks the Stanley Cup, so to much scoring depth can never be a bad thing.