Latest on the Bruins, Canucks and Stars – April 28, 2012.

Are the Bruins planning any big moves this summer? What’s the latest on Roberto Luongo? Could the Dallas Stars pursue Rick Nash or Jordin Tootoo? 


Could Thomas return with Bruins next season?

ESPN.COM/BOSTON HERALD: Don’t expect the Boston Bruins to make any significant changes to their core this summer. GM Peter Chiarelli indicated in his end-of-season press conference he won’t be doing anything to make over the roster. He did, however, say he would look toward the trade or free agent market to add a forward, but said that didn’t mean he wouldn’t re-sign RFA forward Benoit Pouliot or wouldn’t consider putting Jonathan Caron on a top line. That would dash expectations of Chiarelli bidding for pending UFA stars like Zach Parise or Ryan Suter.  Two factors – the health of concussed forward Nathan Horton, and the expiration of the current CBA – could affect his potential plans.

The Herald’s Steve Conroy reported Chiarelli wasn’t inclined to move a goaltender, while veteran Tim Thomas said he hadn’t given much thought toward the possibility of being shopped this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries (Horton’s concussion, Patrice Bergeron’s strained/torn oblique) played a part in the Bruins’ early playoff exit, while David Krejci and Milan Lucic didn’t play particularly well against the Capitals. That being said, those aren’t reasons for Chiarelli to blow up the roster or “shake up” the core. Yes, they do need to work on the power-play, which was also an issue throughout last season, and they could probably use another scoring forward. Regardless, Chiarelli has been patient with his roster, and was rewarded last season, as well as earlier this season when they lurched to a slow start. I see little reason why he would change his mind now. Sure, he could try to trade Thomas, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he listens to offers, but they’ll have to be really good offers for Thomas, who only has one year remaining on his contract, and whose “no-movement” clause expires on July 1.

NATIONAL POST/ESPN.COM: Michael Traikos doesn’t believe the Maple Leafs need Roberto Luongo, suggesting instead a short-term option to fill the gap in goal while James Reimer continues to learn the ropes. Jesse Rogers, who covers the Blackhawks for, dismisses the idea of Luongo being dealt to the ‘Hawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traikos makes a sensible case, but the growing criticism facing Leafs GM Brian Burke over his handling of the club could put pressure upon him to make a big move now to land an established goalie star. Reimer’s recent injury history could also a factor which pushes Burke toward a possible acquisition of Luongo. Rogers, meanwhile, is saying the same things I’ve been saying regarding the unlikely prospect of the Blackhawks acquiring Luongo. It remains to be seen where Luongo ends up by next season, but I’d say the odds of his landing in Toronto are far better than those which have him going to Chicago.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently replied to a reader’s question about the possibility of the Stars acquiring either Columbus’ Rick Nash or Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo. Heika wondered if the Stars could afford to pay the high asking price from the Columbus Blue Jackets to land him, suggesting they might be more inclined to pursue New Jersey’s Zach Parise if he becomes available in this summer’s UFA market. As for Tootoo, Heika isn’t convinced he’d be a good fit with the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk will certainly be looking to bolster his lineup this summer, and will probably be among the bidders for Parise if he hits the open market, I doubt he’d want to part with significant assets for Rick Nash. I concur with Heika’s take on Tootoo.



    I think Tampa might be the settling point for Luongo …reason being is that Steve Yzerman doesnt have a heck of a lot to give away via trade bait right now!!! So acquiring Tim Thomas …Mikka Kipprusof …Steve Bernier or Lindback may cost him assets that he doesnt want to part with or simply just doesnt have and thast why he couldnt land a goalie at the deadline……so in saying that he could do a better job with taking Luongo off Vancouvers hands and not really have to give up or part with anything SIGNIFICANT i.e. young prospects …but rather only money in the contract, Luongo will retire before his contract goes past 6 years it wont matter anyways ….he will be 40 doent see it !!!

    it depends if there is a bidding war with Vancouver over Luongo and then it would mean that Vancouver would come out of this pretty well!!
    and right now there are a significant amount of teams that need a legit # 1 goalie and the market is very good for Gillis to move him!!!

    …….will not be in Boston next year, its a Schnieder Luogo scenario right now and with the goalie market at an all time High would mean that Chiarelli would get his best return for Thopmas right now !!
    Not at the deadline …not next July 1st …Right now!!!

    I think you could see a pkg deal here such as Thomas and a significant player dealt to move Thomas and bring in something they have been looking at for some time now and just waited it out ….could be a multy player deal or just one big deal !!!just for example …Thomas and Hamilton or Marchand for Nash something along those lines!
    Or to Detroit for the young Mrazek and a player such as Tartar or Abelkader or Helm !!!

    • what on god’s green earth are you smoking? Thomas isn’t going anywhere, and the Bruins goaltending situation isn’t anywhere near to the mess in Vancouver. Why would Chiarelli trade away their best prospect in Hamilton, and Marchand? And why would detroit want anything to do with Thomas?

      • Mess in Vancouver? Having two top 10 goalies in the league is a mess? I think the word you are looking for is depth.

  2. Luongo to Chicago never, ever, ever made sense in my opinion.

    Why give the team you’ve had the most hated rivalry against, a top tier goalie?
    Doesn’t make sense, Luongo will go out East, so he doesn’t burn the Canucks 3-6 times a season.

  3. Why not give Brodeur a contract with the Leafs. Keep your young goalies and have them learn from the best. Even if Brodeur gets hurt he will still be able to teach and mentor. Pay him the money. Also Go for Parise. Kessel, Lupal, Parise. Don’t blow the chance. Make them an offer that they can’t refuse. Older goalies can still play very effective.

    • like Brodeur’s gonna play anywhere but New Jersey…give your head a shake.

    • Who’s going to center that line?

  4. I’m very doubtful Brodeur himself would consider playing for anybody but Jersey.Thomas won’t end up in Toronto unless Chiarelli gets a can’t refuse offer from Burke and I don’t see that coming anytime soon.Kipprusof maybe but at what price?, Luongo is a 50/50 chance but he’s more inclined to want to play in Tampa first,Florida 2nd, before considering Toronto as Plan C

  5. Brodeur playing anywhere other then NJ isn’t worth talking about. He will retire a Devil everyone knows that…

    Thomas will most likely remain a Bruin since trading him would leave Rask with no viable back up should he get hurt again.

    Luongo most likely will not be coming to Toronto given Burke’s hatred for long term contracts among other issues.

  6. I don’t know why anyone thinks that Reimer is the answer to Toronto’s goaltending problems. He hasn’t been dominant at any level and he has never had great successes over long stretches. It tells me that he is a streaky goaltender and that many pundits are basing their opinion on one those successful streaks while discounting overall mediocrity.

  7. I can see the Leafs trading for Luongo and giving up something like a first round pick in 2013, a bad contract like Komisarek, a young player like Matt Frattin and backup goaltender like Ben Scrivens or Jussi Rynnas.

    There is no way they give up a lottery pick in 2012 but might hope that a rebuild will result in the 2013 pick would be later in the first round. Komisarek would be included to create additional cap space for Luongo and wouldn’t be seen as terribly valuable asset. Frattin is a physical winger who could provide some muscle for the Sedin line while Scrivens/Rynnas would replace Luongo in the lineup.

  8. Considering that the Bruins felt the need to sign Turco when Rask went down with an injury, it would appear that the Bruins might want to keep Thomas for another season. If they trade Thomas and Rask goes down with an injury next season, what’s the backup plan then? Having two good goalies on the team is never a bad way to go.

    Columbus would seem the logical destination for Loungo, but it’s doubtful he would want to play there. Chicago, IMO, could definately use an upgrade in goal, but they need to spend there money on other areas (a true 2nd line center first and foremost). I also don’t see Tampa spending that much on a goalie. Bobby Lu could end up right where he’s at come October as an expensive backup goalie.

    • TB needs a star goalie real bad. They have all the pieces there to be a playoff team. It wasn’t to long ago when they made a deep playoff run, most of that team is still there. And his family lives in floria, its pretty ideal.

  9. Vancouver has to be very careful at this point. They need to sign Schneider to a longer contract and keep him under their umbrella before moving Luongo. They don’t want to be in a position where Luongo no longer wants to be in Vancouver and Schneider gets a much better offer.
    I don’t foresee any difficulties in signing Schneider and moving Luongo but it must be done without getting anyone’s nose out of joint or else they could be left without anyone to tend their net.
    I don’t see Luongo going to the Leafs but rather to a Florida team. Time zone changes, proximity to family, shorter flights and better weather could all factor in. Even less of a frenzied media following might suit Luongo more so than being under the microscope that the Toronto media uses to examine and find fault with it’s teams players.
    They say a change is as good as a rest and if that’s so look for Luongo to be great for whatever team he plays for. He was very good in Vancouver and if not for a few games in Boston last year he would already have a statue built honoring him for bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver. Fickle are the hearts of hockey fans.

  10. I think Burke may have to say I never signed the deal but Luongo is a great goalie and we could not pass up the opportunity. Luongo helped his team win 2 Presidents Trophies and helped them get to the SC Finals. Vancouver fans are no less willing to crap over their players than Leaf fans. The media are no less harsh or relentless in Vancouver. There are just more of them in Toronto.

    I cannot see Luongo being part of a big trade package to Toronto if it happens. I see maybe Lombardi and a prospect or Lombardi and a pick going back in exchange. Lombardi is fast has some skill and can fill in the third line centre slot vacated by Hodgson, and he only has another season left before he is a UFA. That then only leaves Toronto with about 15 guys who can play 3rd line centre (LOL).

    Thomas to Leafs makes sense on many fronts. Its short term and would provide stability, and wins! Bruins would love more draft picks (LOL), but Chiarelli may not want to help us too much after the Kaberle deal. But a trade to the Eastern Conference will ensure Thomas bites them in the ass!

    I think the biggest goaltending decision for Toronto has to do with the goalie coach, Francois Allaire. Other than Leaf prospects, he has only coached Giguere while here, who he already coached before. Retaining Allaire could be the difference betweeen any of these guys considering coming to the Leafs or not, which might be why Burke went with Reimer and Gustavsson in tandem last year, and why letting Allaire go might be his best hope for attracting a veteran number one goalie to his team.

    Otherwise I can hear someone like Tim Thomas saying. “Butterfly my ass! I’ll just stop pucks, thank you very much.”

    Just my 2 Cents

  11. Bruins have to make a move if they want to contend next yr. If Horton comes back healthy then maybe they dont need to sign Parise. Suter would help there power play and next year it has to be Rask.They may wait till deadline next year to make there moves depending how things are going.

    • No they don’t. They have a solid team. Just because they didn’t make it deep doesn’t mean Chairelli needs to make a deal and bring in someone big. The only moves they will be making is something with the fourth line, determining if Caron is ready for an 82 game season will play a large factor into that.

  12. The Blackhawks plan is to try and trim roster and make a run at Suter. If they lose out on Suter, they will try and re-sgn UFA Johnny Oduya IF Johnny and his agent are willing to be reasonable. The hawks will look for help in goal…long term help in the 2012 draft in the first three rounds.

  13. I hope that Toronto signs Marty Turco has their goalie coach. He is fresh from the NHL, fresh from the newer style of play today. Turco got bad when age caught up with him but was a solid goalie, smart, and nobody but MAYBE Broduer could handle and move a puck better than Turco. I think he could do some great things as a goalie coach.

    Anyway, I am with the people who would love to see TO get a short term vet stopper for the club. Two reasons

    #1: I’d rather see if one of our young goalies is legit first. If not then shop the market. We haven’t given Reimer, Scrivens, Rynnas, Owuya enough time to prove anything.

    #2: I’d rather see the Leafs finish low in the standings. I don’t want a goalie who will take them to the playoffs and watch them get troused and add no future to the team. I’d rather see a lottery pick and maybe McKinnon in our organization at the end of next year.

    I also believe patience is needed. After next season so much salary is going to come off the books. We are the youngest team in the NHL right now and we have so much in the minors to be happy about. Colborne, Frattin, Kadri, D’Amigo, McKegg, Ashton, Blacker, Holzer, Percy, Biggs,Sparks, Rynnas, Scrivens, Owuya! Plus we are a young developing team! Kessel, Kulemin, Franson, Gardiner, Gunnerson, Schenn, Reimer are all 25 or under!

    Yes I will admit not all of those guys are likely to pan out and likely via Toronto media are over rated. But being patient with them is the Detroit system and why blow everything up without KNOWING what you are giving away. If Burke can just admit late that we are rebuilding, maybe shed some salary contracts for picks and start taking a good hard look at our system and weeding out who is the future and who isn’t while making some strong drafts this year and next then who says we can’t turn it around?

    I am excited to be a Toronto fan because I can look past the layers of fat to the meat underneath and be happy that someday we’ll be in the right spot and I am patient enough to watch and be excited as our young players get better.

  14. Have to disagree with you, Spec, now is definitely the time to trade Thomas.
    A) there is demand.
    B) he is signed for a year = cost certainty for the team he goes to.
    C) His “movement/ trade” restrictions will be gone.
    D) Wait until the end of next season and he is a UFA, youll certainly get less.
    E) he is aging – time to fish or cut bait
    D) the replacement is already in place
    F) open some cap space

    Good management is doing the inevitable when you can, not when you have to.

    da rat

    • Lyle didn’t say to trade or not to trade Thomas, he said, very reasonably, that Boston will listen to offers, if one blows them away, they’ll trade’em, if not… Why bother.

      Also, how come when the Leafs need a goalie there’s a huge requirement for goalies in the league? Remember a couple years ago, people were all praising teams that didn’t have the big ticket goaltender?

  15. I would just like to raise a couple of points here. First, a few people have said that there is a demand for goalies.. um, not really. There is only about 4 or 5 teams out there. And in the case of Luongo, its really just TB, Toronto or maybe NJ. Secondly, Thomas isn’t going anywhere. Not that he isn’t good or anything, just doesn’t make any sense.

    Thirdly, because I know all you people love your leafs, they need to pursue a goalie. Reimer isn’t getting it done. They have a couple options; Luongo, Lindback, Bernier, maybe even trading for young prospects like Visentin, or Campbell would be wise. Now what Burke should have done was trade for Bishop, but there is no way they get him now.

  16. No one is going to give up much for Thomas. He’s an aging goalie with 1 year left on his contract. The only teams that might have any interest are the ones who think they can win next year and how many of them don’t have a number 1?

  17. Leafs do not need to add another Young Goalie with a low amount of experience in the NHL. That’s what went wrong last year. If they run with Reimer then need a vet backup who can step up and play 40 games if he needs to. Or they need a starter for Reimer to backup.

  18. Okay, your team needs a goaltender. You have a couple prospects in the system but nothing close and the guy(s) you used last year were not able to play a steady 60 games, so time to go shopping at the Draft.

    There are a handful of skilled backups who might be ready to assume a #1 spot (Bernier, Rask, Lindbeck, Harding) but are playing behind solid starters, they are going to cost some futures. At least a pick and a prospect. Then their are the older proven starters, some still at the peak and some slightly over (Kipper, Halak, Thomas, Vokuon, and the man of the hour, Luongo).

    So basically these are the guys you have to make a decision on. So you have an idea of what you get with each one, now, how much will it cost. For the young guys a pick and a prospect. For the established vets, normally, a high pick, everyday starter.

    But there is a problem. One of them, Luongo, has to move, he is on the clearance shelf, the team and the player himself has said he has to go, and as a clearance item, he will only go to a very specific customer. Now if I am that customer, with all the options in front of me, why would I pay high dollar for the clearance item.

    And dont delude yourselves that Vancouver has any power here. Schneider will not sigh anything until Luongo is gone, why would he, sign and then find out he is stuck side by side with Luongo. And you dont want to make him wait either, you have to qualify him, and if it takes too long, he will sign the qualifying offer, and be a completely UFA next year (ala Shea Weber). So to make Schneider happy, Luongo has to go, and he has to go fast, so back to supply and demand, just how many customers are going to pay even dollar value for him, I wouldnt, this is an opportunity to rob Vancouver blind, and I think the GM’s are pretty good at seeing this.