Latest on Luongo – April 26, 2012.

Roberto Luongo will reportedly submit a short list of preferred trade destinations, and the Maple Leafs are believed on that list, which is bound to send Leafs Nation into a frenzy. Read on for the latest installment of the exciting new hockey guessing game: “Where Will Luongo Go?”


Where is Luongo bound?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford cited a tweet yesterday by TSN’s James Duthie, claiming Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo will submit a short list of teams he’ll accept being trade to, and the Toronto Maple Leafs “will be on it”. Botchford cites the Leafs have several factors in their favor, including the presence of assistant GM Dave Nonis, who brought Luongo to Vancouver in 2006, goalie coach and Luongo’s longtime goalie guru Francois Allaire, and could afford to carry his big contract.

SPORTSNET.CA: claimed the Tampa Bay Lightning will also be on Luongo’s shortlist.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox, prior to this report of the Leafs being on Luongo’s list, looked at the factors which could affect the Leafs if they acquired the netminder, including his salary, the cost of acquiring him, hisage, and skill level, and wondered if Leafs GM Brian Burke could bring himself to take on the type of contract he’s railed against for years.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Buffery, prior to the TSN report, doubted Burke will part with the assets to land Luongo, who could over time become a very expensive backup as his skills fade.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle believes the Canucks shouldn’t expect to get a big return for Luongo, regardless of where he could be dealt.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman believes the Lightning and Luongo’s former team, the Florida Panthers, could be on his wish list, though the Panthers have a very promising young goalie in Jacob Markstrom. Friedman also points out the most expensive years of Luongo’s contract are now past, noting he’ll make just over $6.7 million per season for the next six years, then his salary drops significantly in the final four seasons. Teams must be prepared to commit $40.3 million over the next six years. Friedman believes big market clubs like Toronto or Chicago could handle that, but it would be tougher for lower revenue teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, if we go by the reports, Toronto, Florida and Tampa Bay will be among the club’s on Luongo’s wish list. If we’re talking which team can best afford to carry his contract, then as Friedman points out, it could be the Leafs. Does Brian Burke, who has led the charge against contracts like Luongo’s, and is expected to lead the charge for term limits on contracts in the next CBA, risk making himself a hypocrite, thus blunting his influence to push for contract limits, by acquiring Luongo? Whether you love or hate Burke, he’s usually a man of strong principles, and usually sticks to his word. Still, the need for a top goaltender and to perhaps save his job in Toronto could win out. 

It should be remembered that, while the remaining bulk of Luongo’s contract will be paid out over the next six years, the $5.333 million per season cap hit remains the same, regardless of how low his actual salary is per season. While it’s also true he lacks a “no-movement” clause, which means he could be buried in the minors, it’s  believed that loophole could be closed in the next CBA, meaning any team acquiring Luongo will be stuck with that cap hit on their books in his final seasons, unless he retires. That cap hit could prove a significant hindrance down the road.

I agree with Mirtle the Canucks shouldn’t expect a big return for Luongo, but given their need to free up some cap space to re-sign other key players and seek depth elsewhere in their lineup, they might not want a big return, but rather an affordable one, like one or two promising, affordable young players, picks and/or prospects.


  1. Do it Burkie! Bobby Lou can still play goal very well. I have confidence in Luongo and I know he could help the Leafs get to the playoffs. The guy went to game 7 of the finals last year, he can play!

  2. Luongo is great, but with that contract anything more than a 2nd round pick is too much. Basically the Canucks will give him away just to shed his contract.

    • dream on….maybe 6 2nd rounders

  3. Stumbling block here! What prospects? No love lost, between these teams. Contract, can work out, but it better not cost, a Jake Gardiner, plus. Take Luongo, but only through shrewd, and fare trading. Burke, cannot afford any mistakes on this one.

    Leaf Fan!

  4. Although BB is a shameless attention whore, he is a man of principle and character. I respect him greatly.

    He have up an extra first rounder for Kessel when he could have signed him to an offer sheet and given up a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Of course, he was repaid in spades when Chirelli gave up that ludicrous package for Kaberle.

    I would be shocked if he went after Luongo. Too big a contract for his performance and for too long a period. Just say no and stick him with the Canucks.


    Tim Thomas and Mikka Kipprusof might be available at a shorter contract ….better cost and are better goalies …..Burke may have to give up a little more for Kipper and Chiarelli may not want to deal in his own division so Luogo may be the man ..but I think Burke should look at Thomas first then Kipper then if all that fails…. Luongo !!
    Out of the three teams on the list …Florida has the better trade options for Vancouver !!

    This deal would have to be put together now …then done the first day it can happen if a team wants him !!!
    He will not be on the block more than 24 hours !!

    If Burke gets any one of these 3 goalies hes in very good shape ….he would also need to aquire a Nash player and a solid defenseman and a past Stanley cup winner for the room !!!

  6. @Slap
    I agree. Wait and see what else is availble before taking on a 10 year contract. It’s funny reading these posts that are saying go for it!! Go for it!!. All I keep hearing are Vancouver fans saying they would love to get rid of this guy. If my memory is correct I also remember hearing the same thing from the Buffalo fans about Connelly and the same thing from the Montreal fans about Komeserik and look where those two deals got us. The difference is Connelly was only a two year deal and Komi was 5 years. Imagine being stuck with another dud but for 10 years!!!!! Say what you want about him being a good goalie but if he looses his timing or can’t handle the pressure in Toronto mid season next year which all the Vancouver fans who watch him all the time keep saying, then what are you going to do with him for the next 10 years? WAY TO RISKY!! I’d rather ante up for Kipper or take a shot on a two year UFA deal with Vokoun…

    • It’s tough.

      I think Calgary is sticking the route of mediocrity (as per Brent Sutter’s firing) so I don’t think Kipper’s available.
      As for Vokoun, he seems to be injured often, but there’s no mistaking that he’s a top tier goalie (2.51 GAA and 0.916 SV% is nothing to shake a stick at)

      I think Luongo gets a bad rep from Vancouver fans because they need a scapegoat for the most part.

  7. @Lyle

    I just want to thank you for these boards and this site. It’s really a breath of fresh air not having to read these crazy rumours these other sites put together, and instead how you go out and find articles written by writers, by analysts and by the hockey guys themselves (twitter).

    Thanks for giving us a home to voice what we think, and read up on news around the NHL. Also, reading your insight is pretty solid *always*.

    As for Roberto. Toronto would make sense in all aspects except his contract. As Lyle mentioned, Burke is a man of his word (for the most part)… but there’s a good chance that Roberto might be the best goalie available on the market currently. So I don’t know… you either tuck your tail and snag him while you can, or you stick to your word and go w/o a real goalie for a few more seasons.

    In my honest opinion, Vancouver will ask a lot for Luongo, but they’ll more than likely get: A player + Prospect + 2-3rd.

    As for the Leafs, I always had this question:
    When you rebuild, aren’t you suppose to be playing with the kids you drafted, I.E giving them a chance at the big boy level?

    I mean, they only have 4 “major” guys on their team that were drafted by Toronto, and none of which were Burke picks. Because it seems like Toronto did less of a rebuild and more of a piece together retool.

    • Mio

      No way Vancouver gets that kind of package for Luongo.
      They are dealing a guy with a killer contract, is on the downside of his career…
      And, they are not dealing from a position of strength.. everyone knows they want to keep Schneider and are desperate to move Lou.

      Like I mention, I think it’s a 2nd round pick (the Leaf’s would be 36th overall) at best. Anything more than that or this massive contract and Burke would make the biggest mistake of his career.

      • I know you wouldn’t think so, but look at Carter’s ridiculous contract, and his play in CBJ was atrocious for the money he was earning. But LA needed scoring and they gave up a TON to get it.

        If Toronto wants Luongo:
        It’ll probably cost Kadri to troll the third line (A-la Hodgon), and a second/third.

        Don’t get it wrong, although Luongo and Vancouver are more than done… It will still cost teams to get him.

        • Carter isnt 33 y/o so I se a difference.
          But thats just me.

          • 27 vs 33,

            Forward vs Goalie.

            We all know finesse scorers peak young; and we know goalies peak late. Not saying that the two are comparable, but, this should come into play whenever comparing players that play different positions.

            A team that needs a goalie will throw an okay return at the Canucks, I don’t think you’ll see Third round pick for Bobby Lou.

            That’s just me.

  8. Dear TSN, Luongo submitted a list of 5 teams. Why are we only hearing the Leafs and (as a mere side note) TB are on it? Ya, let’s talk at nausium about how the Leafs will get Luongo and neglect speculating about the other four teams. It’s no wonder the rest of the hockey world hates us….why are we always the center of attention?media strikes again! Try some un-biased reporting for once. Scencerely; Leaf fan.

    • TSN knows how to pander to the fans.

      Canadian network -> Leafs are probably the only Canadian team on the list -> Leafs Nation is massive.

      Although TSN does have the best insiders, saying that, I like watching highlight shows on Sportsnet; they get to the most important games first and not show Maple Leafs vs. Carolina instead of showing like Pitts vs NYR.

      • But TSN has Jay and Dan which makes the hilights all that much more interesting.

  9. I agree with Spec about Burke looking like a hypocrite. How can he take on this contract then go sit at the CBA and trash anyone who has done them in the past and speak out about limiting the time frame on these contracts in the future. Say what you want about Burke not being the one who handed this contract out, if Burke takes on this contract it’s no different then being the one that actually handed it out.

    Burkie… If you tell people you would never cheat on your wife but then you get drunk in Vegas one night and bang a hooker and tell your buddies it doesn’t count because it was a business transaction and contained no feelings it still makes you a hypocrite.

  10. Dreger: hey it’s Darren, did Bobby give his short list yet?

    Inside source: sure did, just a minute ago!

    Dreger: Amazing! Are the Leafs on it?

    Inside source: yup! And four other teams.

    Dreger: pft! Who gives a shit about the other teams.

    Inside source: well Stevie Y might

    Dreger: (click)

    inside source: hello?

    • Hahahahahahaha, that’s priceless. This site needs a “adore” button!

    • Well done, Durt!

  11. Bobby Lou is 33 with perhaps 3 years left of useful play before his skills are in the tank. While its likely he could be acquired for very little, I doubt Burke bites at this contract and my guess is Luongo ends up in either Tampa Bay or Florida

  12. Ownership will step and in tell Burke is to go after Lou. And Burke will say how great of a goalie. And that he was against signing players to these types of deals but trading for one with this type of contract is different.

    Which it would be, he could even buy him out and resign him.

  13. I agree with Slap that Kippur is a much better option for anyone, but itsounds like he may not be available….

    Thomas would be VERY unhappy in Canada… definitely not going to come to a socialist country, pay high taxes, not be allowed to own guns, his kids will have to learn French, he will have to use plastic currency etc etc etc…. Thomas is going to Chicago (that’s my guess) for picks and prospects becasue Boston wants to clear the cap space and use those assets to go after Nash; or Parise.

    I maintain that Luongo is a massive upgrade for the Leafs for seasons 1-2-3-4 moving forward… after that, you have a $5+M cap hit for a guy who will likely no longer be able to start 60 games for you…. THEN what are you going to do?

    Another thing to consider is the buyout window that may be given to teams as part of the new CBA. We all know Toronto has loads of money and could buy out Luongo’s contract, then resign him to a very affordable cap hit on short-term. However, this would mean that the Canucks would have to pay a price to get rid of Luongo and his contract if they want to avoid a $20-$30 Million buyout…. i.e. thoy would have to part with Luongo and picks/prospects in order to move his contract and get nothing in return.

    This is all adding up to him not really being attractive to other teams. It really would be a despiration move by the Leafs (or anyone for that matter) who takes on this contract.

  14. By the way… lets not forget that Burke was hard after Richards and Carter who both have 10 years on they deals left… the big difference: those guys are not 33 year old….

  15. This reminds me of when the Leafs got Lindros…. 6 years too late.

  16. @ Nikk

    If you actually break down the Luongo contract its top heavy on the cap hit for the first 6 years roughly about $5.3 million per year cap hit …… it tails off at the average of $1.5 million for the last 3-4 years …which is very exceptable for a goalie of his calibre….

    So in saying that luongo will still be a goalie worth having for the next 5 years and to have a #1 goalie you will be paying $5 Million anyways

    In his last year of $5.3 he would be a good mentor for the next one!!!

    With saying THAT!
    It would be fine to buyout the remainder of the deal for his last 3 years an average $1.5 million and would not hamper the team or cap in the future ….and essentially would be like paying him $6.8 million for the 5 years of his biggest cap hit

    This is how you would have to look at the contract and its length….in the present CBA

    BUT you would have to explore Kipper & Thomas first ..but Luongo is workable when you look at it this way !!!!

    • Slap

      The Cap hit is the total value of the contact divided by the number of years. His cap hit does not change if his salary goes down. In the last years of the contrat he will be making $1.5 but cap hit still $5+.

      You are right that the buyoutis based on salary and not Cap hit. :Last time it was 2/3rds of the remaining salary owed over twice the length of the remaining years.

      • On second thought:
        The buyout period is only a window at the beginning of the CBA (last time).

        Teams do not have the opportunity to buy out players half-way through the CBA…

        So no, teams cannot buy out the final 4 years of his contract. Assuming there is a prvovision for buyouts- which is not a given- it will have to happen this summer meaning his buyout would be HUGE.

  17. Sorry MLSE could afrford the buyout at $1.5 for the last 4 years no problem!

  18. MioKid, I actually prefer highlights on TSN, and I agree they have the best insiders. But they’re soooo bias. Near the trade deadline Dreger tweeted that the Leafs were scouting Yakupov in Sarnia, and neglected to mention it was Galchenyuks 3rd game back. I appreciate what Dreger does, but it’s become odvious he makes his bread and butter pandering to Leafs nation. And sometimes it comes at the cost of logic.

  19. @NikK
    I heard the Leafs were interested in Carter and Richards through the media which could have been BS. I still say you can’t get a little bit pregnant. Burke will look like a fool.

    • I agree totally about the hypocrite argument…
      I’m jsut saying that the “length” of a deal will not make him shy away if he beleives that player will be worth it over that term…. Louongo will not be.

      And Nonis confirmed that they were after Richards (offering Kulemin and Kadri) but stopped hearing back from Philli- given they were getting BSchenn back from LA. He was on the fan590 a while back.

  20. @NikK
    Good to know, I missed that interview.

    I think they are nuts to go after Luongo if Kipper, Miller, or Halak come available.

    • Miller is not and will not become available.

      • Agree 100%.

  21. Luongo could be the next Tim Thomas or Dwayne Roloson meaning he may have playing skills until he’s 41 not 36 so it could be a good good pickup for the Leafs for the right price!

  22. Well Luongo would indeed upgrade the Leafs goaltending situation and be a mentor for Reimer…

    But I thought the Leafs were also going after Parise, Suter and Nash?

    You can’t get them all..

    Question is.. what will Vancouver want? Tampa has a lot of draft picks which could entice Vancouver.. and Luongo’s wife is from Florida.

    Going to be a very interesting offseason.

  23. If i was a GM and all we needed was a goalie which could help us get over the top with the ability to steal games…Loungo definitly would NOT be my first choice, neither would be Miller, Thomas, Halek etc. Besides Thomas these guys are going to want long term contractswith big money…and if you only had a window of 2-3 years to do it because of all your future UFA’s or RFA’s in resigning them….Kipper would be the choice everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Added bonus, he only has 2 years left on his contract. Keep in mind he leads all goalies in wins since the lockout, better than average GAA, can steal games for you, not known for the softies and never gets rattled. Pittsburgh / Boston / Detroit all would be playing the next round if they had him!
    Tampa would be smarter going after Kipper and he would also be a great addition to the Bruins and Detroit.

  24. I have to agree with many of you that Luongos contract is a dealbreaker. However with Burke addressing the need to improve the Leafs goaltending I believe he will take a good, hard look at acquiring him. Despite the scrutiny Roberto Luongo recieves he is still a top tier goaltender with many credentials and only a few blemishes to his name,which have recently dwarfed his achievments. Tim Thomas,Ryan Miller,Jaroslav Halak,Miikka Kiprusoff. Four names mentioned above by others. I don’t see any leaving their respective teams, Tim Thomas being the most likely in my mind. It’s tough to contemplate because like many of you I feel that if Toronto acquired Luongo, he would benefit the team for the next 4-5 years while providing an excellent mentor for young James Reimer. The remaineder of his term is the big question mark. Though I feel that in 5-8 years he will still be a quality goalie. Salary, age, trade clauses, all major deterrents for any team vying for his services.

  25. Funny how when a “big name” player is mentioned for free agency or is going to be traded the Leafs are always on the list. This is the media in Ontario trying to get ratings and fill their blogs. I’ve yet to see any of these so called trades or signings take place…especially with Burke at the helm.

    • The Leafs are always a destination for several reasons:

      1) Their desperate need for top players at all positions
      2) Players want to play in that market
      3) Luongo understands that he would be the undisputed #1 guy.
      4) The current management’s mandate to kick tires on everyone.

      The Leafs are and always have been a player to some degree. Its obvious they don’t always get the guy, but they inquire. I remember this was the same when Burke was in Anaheim… he was always “in” on the big names. That’s his style… he tries to go after all of the top guys available. In years past he had no assets to get a deal done (except future draft picks). how he has a cupboard, so he is going to use it whether we like it or not.

  26. as a Canuck fan, it’s too bad it came to this.

    He brought the Canucks out of mediocracy and carried the team for a couple seasons before the emergence of the Sedins as elite players. He can get 30-40wins per season for a another 3-4 years (depending on games played obviously).

    Van fans shit down his throat not remembering the decade of unreliable goaltending they had after Kirk MacLean.
    Yes, he can let in softies, but will make the timely saves when it’s needed. The team in front of him needs to be able to score (like any winning team). Luongo made big saves on Sharp before Burrows scored in game 7 last year vs. hawks. Same for the Olympics, US had a couple good chances around the net before Igilna and Crosby scored. Luongo is arguably the best goalie Van. has ever had. Hopefully Schnieder will surpass that.

    Like Florida’s assets – but they don’t really need him.
    TBay is probably the best option in terms of assets coming back the other way, but is also hampered by huge contracts. Too bad Connoly is untouchable.
    TML – Canucks don’t need a Kadri, nor would they want Schenn. Burke probably won’t go for it.
    Chicago needs a goalie – but that would be awkward.

    • Agreed 100%.

      The Nucks are gonna be hard pressed to trade Lui, they’ve got to do it before July 1st, otherwise they risk losing Schneider to an offer sheet. And if there’s stumbling blocks with Schneider’s negotiations who knows, maybe they keep Lui.

      You gotta think that if they do trade No. 1 – he blanks them every time he plays them. Life’s just like that.

  27. I’m still not overly huge on this new style of blocking goaltender. They let out WAY too many rebounds and aren’t overly mobile in the net. Luongo, Reimer, Scrivins and Rynnas were all blocking goaltenders. This was mostly in part to Allaire’s training style. Allaire tried to turn Gusstavsson into a blocking style goalie but I think it actually ruined the monster. The best thing the Leafs could have done was let the monster play his own style and keep going at it. I think you might see the monster sign in New York as a back-up to king Hennrik, play there for a few years until traded for or contract is up and sign as a solid starter somewhere.

    I’m not a Luongo fan at all, and I do believe that there are better options out there for the Leafs. However, at a cap hit of 5.3m for a goalie who’s going to get you the wins you need and have the ability to steal games and mentor a promising young goaltending group. It’s certainly managable. Just as long as the price is right.

  28. The highest bidder will get Luongo. He is an excellent goalie at an affordable cap hit.

    example 1 to canucks:Kadri,2nd round pick,3rd round pick
    to leafs :Luongo

    example 2 to canucks:Brett Connely, 1st round pick
    to lightning :Luongo

    Sorry but those who think of getting Luongo for nothing are going to be really disappointed