NHL Canadian Corner – Friday, July 26, 2013.

Updates on Roberto Luongo, the Maple Leafs sign GM Dave Nonis to a contract extension, Marc Methot excited over invite to Olympic orientation camp, Raphael Diaz and Sven Baertschi invited to Swiss Olympic camp and the Oilers sign Darnell Nurse.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau wondered if Roberto Luongo hiring new agents suggests he’s attempting to engineer his departure from the Canucks in the near future. For the time being, Proteau expects Luongo will report to the Canucks this season.

Is Roberto Luongo trying to engineer a departure from the Canucks?

Is Roberto Luongo trying to engineer a departure from the Canucks?

TSN.CA: Pat Brisson, one of the Luongo’s new agents, confirmed the goaltender would indeed attend Canucks training camp this fall.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Gilles Lupien, Luongo’s former agent, blamed Canucks management for the drama surrounding the goaltender for the past 18 months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By hiring new agents, Luongo certainly seems to be laying the groundwork for his eventual departure. Lupien is correct in laying blame upon Canucks management, especially GM Mike Gillis, for mishandling this situation. For now, however, Luongo has no choice but to report to the Canucks if he wants to continue his NHL career. His hefty contract (with nine years and over $40 million remaining on it) will still prove difficult to move, and  if he is traded there is the shared risk of salary cap advantage recapture penalties should he retire before his contract expires. Still, if he has a strong performance this season, it could stimulate interest from rival clubs with deep pockets in need of an experienced starting goalie.

CANADIAN PRESS (VIA CBC.CA): The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed GM Dave Nonis to a five-year contract extension. In an interview, Nonis thanked the organization, adding he’s not concerned Nazem Kadri, Matt Fraser and Cody Franson remain unsigned, nothing there’s plenty of time to get them under contract before the start of training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Early reaction from some Leafs bloggers seems mixed, with some suggesting an extension of that length was undeserved. Still, it is what it is, and should the Leafs continue to improve under Nonis’ watch, the new contract will be justified.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who received an invitation to Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey orientation camp, is excited about his shot at making the team.

LA PRESSE/CALGARY HERALD: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz has been selected for Switzerland’s Olympic hockey orientation camp. He’ll be joined by Calgary Flames Sven Baertschi and Reto Berra.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers have signed their 2013 first round pick Darnell Nurse to a three-year entry-level contract.


  1. Who cares about the length of Nonis’ contract. He still gets fired before 5 years if he fails.

    SEE: Brian Burke

  2. Continuation of yesterdays conversation about Kessel.
    Kessel had a good playoffs, yes, a whole 3 games (they did loose the other 4 games). He is now worth $8 to $9M? Where is his Stanley cup ring as a proven winner to support that salary? Just because a guy can score roughly 35 goals as he gets top line minutes with top line power play time game in and game out but is always a minus player doesn’t justify that much of a raise. I would say he still has a lot to prove before he is worth that much money. Not that this is possible but a bridge contract for two years at $6M should be reality for this guy but as we all know the NHL isn’t reality so he will get his over payment of $8 to $9M. I just hope it’s not from the Leafs. Nonis is blowing money like water so I assume he will ante up for Phils asking price and you will be crying in two years when Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly plus what ever other young guys step up are looking for big dollars and it’s not available because of all the stupid signings like Bozak, Kessel, and Clarkson taking up $18M between the three of them.

    • Kessel is worth every penny! What has he done but IMPROVE since coming to Toronto, came in 30g 55pts, kicked it up with 32 and 64 the next season, 37 and 82 the next season, then 20 and 52 (in 48gp) last season. Seems that people are always trying to find away to say that Kessel isn’t worth it. He doesn’t get injured, he never seems to have a consistent winger, his center is Tyler Bozak and yet points.

      So people say he won’t be a playoff performer that he’ll disappear come playoff time. Well 13g 9a 21pts and a +11 in 22 career playoff games is hardly invisible. Kessel has actually proven he is a clutch playoff performer … and now we are saying where is his ring to deserve that money? Hockey is a TEAM sport, it takes more than one player on the ice to win a hockey game. Where is Ovie’s, Weber’s, Parise’s, Suter’s, Myer’s, Erhoff’s, Heatly, Kipper, Vanek … the list can go on of high paid players with no ring.

      Difference is … unlike a lot of players who make that money. Kessel is worth it, I don’t know how much more the guy can prove himself on the ice.

    • FYI Your constant incorrect player evaluations makes one look like they don’t know wtf they are talking about.

  3. How is the Luongo situation the fault of the GM when the player was the one who came out after the Cup loss to the Bruins saying that it was time for him to move on. It has been reported locally that the player also turned down a trade at or around the draft last year. The player also made the famous ” my contract sucks ” remark after the trade deadline this year. He has tied the hands of the GM. It was only two years ago that the player and team agreed to what is essentially a lifetime contract to play in Vancouver. It is a great city with a team that consistently spends to the cap in order to give every player the best chance to win a Cup, oh yeah, the millions of dollars a year to play here is a nice bonus as well. You made your bed, covered it with millions of dollars to play a game in a league that many only dream of having a chance to do, suck it up and fulfill your “sucky contract” while us fans cough up our hard earned money to have the privilege of watching you play hockey in one of the best hockey markets on the planet.

    • Tied the hands of the guy who gave him the hand ting contract? Thats new lol. The same GM that thought it was wise to give another big contract to the other goalie when if what you say is true knew his hands were tied trying to get rid of the other guy at the same time? Man Im not sure what youre trying to say but if you are trying to make Gillis look better it aint working lol the bud must be good this year Pretty sure Lu owes nothing to Gillis

  4. Re nonis and Leafs
    Every article on the latest moves and the nonis contract I find funny. Its either “They signed clarkson, bozak, orr for either to long to much or why bother (in orrs case). And now the ones saying “nonis contract is to long and what has he done”. Well my comments to these are, 2 summers ago these same writers or bloggers were commenting and how the leafs are cheap or burke has stupid rules in why didn’t they sign the #1 centre they need in richards. So look at this summer and they actually ponnied up and signed clarkson, for what is being reported less then others offered. If they didn’t give him the 7 years they weren’t getting him, in which case they’d all be writing the same things as they were about failing to get richards. Now on nonis, I have no idea if nonis is the right guy to fun the leafs but he’s the guy and IMO if your going to give a guy a chance you give him the right amount of time to do his job. The amount of years, 5, is the max time he will need to sign, resign, trade or draft his type of team. Any stumbles or failures will probably result in a new gm in which case its only lost money for a team that supposedly has unlimited amounts so does it really matter. I also have a comment on orr, there aren’t many guys like lucic and chara or even clarkson, guys who can score, skate, check and fight. So you make do with what you can until the point you find a guy who can do multiple things. I’m not saying orr is a great signing but he does add a part to the team that is needed in the nhl today.

    • The ability to simply buy oneself out of bad decisions and actions doesn’t in any way guarantee positive results. Whenever there’s a lack of accountability (financial in this case) mediocrity then becomes established as the norm. I believe in the past this has been MLSE’s single biggest problem.

      • True but the constant critizism of the actions or inactions is more my point no matter what they do in signing or not signing is more my point. If they spend the money and get the player well its to much money for to many years (clarkson) or why didn’t they spend the money or give 8+ years (richards). Or the giving nonis 5 years is to long but doesn’t a gm need time to actually build his team? Just tired of the constant critizism in which it seems no matter what they action there’s always an argument

        • Amen jrd amen..lol same guys that wonder why free agents dont sign here damned if they do damned if they dont…

  5. Okay, back to Kessel argument.

    Whether we think he’s worth the 8 or 9 mil’ is one thing but somebody raised the point of fitting that salary under the cap when so many others on the Buds are making huge coin.
    Would Leafs Nation implode if he were traded?

    • My point exactly.
      If the Leafs sign Kessel to $8.5M it would mean having a so called top line consisting of 1. Kessel/Bozak/Clarkson (possibly) which will be making $18M
      2. The second line could consist of Kadri/Lupul/JVR making a more reasonable $13M (assuming Kadri gets $3.5M I think it will be $500k more).

      Now which line would you rather have? Line one for $18M or line two for $13M?

      Next question if the top two lines are making roughly $31M to $32M Franson gets signed for around $3.5M, Gunnar is at $3.15M and the cap goes back to $70M in two years from now that leaves $30M to sign 15 players. Now if like Bernier, Gardiner, Rielly do well and command roughly (Gardiner $3.5M, Bernier $5M, Rielly $3M) just those 3 guys will eat up another $11.5M leaving you $18.5M to sign the remaining 12 players. Not much room if you are out looking for an elite center or stud D man.

      This is all hypothetical of course but also a real possibility/

      • Canucks top line per cap geek 17.5…Ducks 19.5…. Hawks 17…. Kings 17.5 top lines make alot of money if Kessel gets 8.5 (which might be a stretch might not but…) the Leafs top line will be paid similar to alot of other teams in the league

    • Regardless he is worth the same value as the other guys who do the same type thing…realistically look at the farm system and prospects we have…how many first line wingers that might turn int to consistant 30 goal guys? None zero na da, now how many D do we have that look very good and could possibly be 2-3 well theres Gardner Rielly Blacker looks pretty good possibly 3-4u Finn Percy Granberg… We have a few so realistically the guy who is in charge of the team (Nonis) would most likely know this and make it a priority to sign Kessel and let the high priced D go for some more assets around the deadline the same as Franson he wont be around long for 3.5 mill or more because they are more easily replaced the guys like Kadri and Kessel

  6. TSN’s NHL page is now reporting that the Leafs are considering trade offers for D Cody Franson since his salary demands may be a little too high for them to think about re-signing him. I don’t know what they can get for him or from who but a high-scoring forward would be nice.


    Regarding the Dave Nonis extension: Great move!!! He is one of the brightest young executives in the game today and now he’ll get a chance to build the Leafs the right way. Right now, fans should just relax and not judge him on what he does now but what he’s done 4-5 years from now. If you want to compare him to Brian Burke, all you need to know is under Nonis, the Leafs made the playoffs in his first year. Burke couldn’t do it in 5 years so Nonis is already ahead of him. Here’s hoping Nonis leaves him in the dust by this time next year!

  7. I suspect I am not the only one on the west coast beyond tired of not just the drama of the whole Luongo situation, but his whining about the “terrible” contract he has. I don’t recall hearing he had a gun to his head when he signed it.

    Try as I might I just can’t see difficulty of having to show up to work for $40 million.

  8. Amen to that LJ. I think Lou will report, and by time we get into mid season, this will all be water under the bridge.