NHL Morning Rumor Mill – January 10, 2013.

The latest on Roberto Luongo, Wade Redden, Mike Knuble, Jim Vandermeer and Luke Adam.

SPORTSNET.CA/ESPN.COM: Mark Spector and Pierre LeBrun cite sources claiming Brian Burke’s unwillingness to swing a trade for Roberto Luongo was the last straw for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which fired Burke yesterday and replaced him as Leafs GM with assistant GM Dave Nonis. It’s believed Burke was leery about taking on the remaining ten years of Luongo’s twelve-year contract (at an average cap hit of $5.33 million per season). Spector predicts Nonis’ new press conference will be when he announces the acquisition of Luongo.

Could new Leafs GM Nonis acquire Roberto Luongo?

Could new Leafs GM Nonis acquire Roberto Luongo?

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger points out it was Nonis who, as Vancouver Canucks GM in 2006, acquired Luongo from the Florida Panthers. Zeisberger noted the mutual respect between the two, suggesting Nonis could forge ahead with plans to acquire Luongo in ” a deal that could very well involve Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and a third element.”

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch also believes Nonis will push to acquire Luongo, suggesting the return to the Canucks could be  “Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and a second round pick or some variance of that.” Garrioch also reported Senators GM Bryan Murray has received some inquiries from rival clubs about goalie Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop, but he isn’t ready to move either one just yet. Garrioch believes one of those clubs could be the Edmonton Oilers.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon compiled rumors claiming the Philadelphia Flyers were getting into the bidding for Luongo. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren laughed off the speculation, but that’s done little to silence the rumors, which suggest the Flyers would buy out Ilya Bryzgalov this summer if they acquire Luongo this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was obviously a lot more to Burke’s firing than an unwillingness to trade for Luongo, but that certainly didn’t help. I believe Nonis will make a serious push to land Luongo, and center Tyler Bozak will be the centerpiece of any offer by the Leafs.

Though the notion of the Flyers chasing Luongo seems far-fetched, we shouldn’t take Holmgren’s denials at face value. Just ask Jeff Carter about that! If the Flyers are indeed pursuing Luongo,their depth in young talent could certainly make them a serious challenger to the Leafs. Still, Holmgren could give Bryzgalov another chance this season, and if it doesn’t pan out, could buy him out this summer if he’s able to find a suitable replacement via trade or free agency.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie examines the NY Rangers options for dealing with defenseman Wade Redden, who is considered a prime candidate for a compliance buyout this summer.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Steve Whyno believes former Capitals forward Mike Knuble could end up with a one-year contract on a contender like the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins or Boston Bruins.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz reports the San Jose Sharks are in discussions with free agent defenseman Jim Vandermeer, although a more likely destination for him could be the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the link.

WGR 550: Forward Luke Adam will not be called up to join the Buffalo Sabres from their AHL farm team, leading to speculation he could be put on the trade block. His trade value won’t be high, but it will get lower the longer he remains in Rochester.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have reached out to former Sabre and free agent Jochen Hecht.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adam had a promising early debut last season but his production fell off as he struggled to adjust to playing coach Lindy Ruff’s demanding defensive style. Sabres star Jason Pominville played with Hecht during the lockout in Germany and raved about his performance, claiming the oft-injured Hecht was healthy and playing well. That could sway Sabres management into offering the German forward a one-year contract.



    There was a lot of guys crapping on other guys on this site about Bryzgalof moving out of Philly and that it would never happen and the guys who posted this were very heavily ridiculed and in my opinion treated unfairly ….there was some headstrong confontations …but I hate to say this but the posters who posted tat Bryzgalaf was at an early end in Philly had it on the button …and I have to say that I saw this coming a mile away as well….Bryz is not the guy they want with the calibre talent they have up front he is not the right piece and will either be traded or bought out ASAP as it was posetd here before. I think this was and always is a good topic for Philly fans ….I just hope that guys on this site take all sides into consideration when trying to discuss good hockey talk …….NOTHING IS OUT OF THE QUESTION ….and teams will do desperate things and wild things to move and improve …..no player is untoucable and anything can happen.

    BURKE ….This timing sucks as a leaf fan …..any leverage that Leaf management had on any impending deal just got thrown out the window and the Leafs are not in the driver seat anymore …..NEW MLSE just made there first HUGE mistake …they got ahead of themselves and should have waited until the end of this season to pull the trigger ……Burke has improved the overall quality of the Franchise and the Marlies to a point where they faught for the Calder cup with all the young guys Burke acquired ….that was part of thsi whole process …build from the bottom up and stock pile and create a place to where as yopu can cultivate players to have a successful NHL team at thats what he was doing ….HOWEVER he made some big GAFFS on the main Club ….there handling Of Kadri ..the terrible signing and contract of Connolly not trading Mcarthur for a first rounder …benching Franson who has the best shot from the point on the PP and not bringing in any veteran presence or Stanley cup rings into the room along with the failure of the Center position which I believ he was waiting for this UFA season to build hei team for the final push of his tenure…..I think Burks best year would be next season where I truly believ that the Leafs will make the playoffs and truly compete for the cup as they will have HUGE cap room and will acquire some great UFAS for that push …mix that with the young superstars and talent that has been simmerinmg in the minors and the time was ripe in his rebuild to push the excelerator and go into overdrive…

    NEW OWNERSHIP just blew it !!!!

  2. Time to trade Kessel !!!

    I am going to bring this up ….becuase it really needs to be talked about IMO ….I truly feel that the leafs really need to make an impact trade to aqcuire a TRUE # 1 center and franchise player …and they really need to look at trading Phil Kessel at this point …..he only has 2 years left and we can all agree he will not be resigned.
    The time is right to do a multi level player deal …where the Leafs can give up some young guys and character guys a high end D man along with Kessel in a multi player deal that can bring in a big power forward and hang a franchise tag on …I truly believ that this is the magic moment ….every team will want a young sniper like Kessel who is a consistatnt 30 plus goal scorer who is very young and will score 50 on a better team and can benefit from being on a true contetnding team .

    This is the biggest chip the leafs have to play and should do a blockbuster deal to bring in legit multiple high end players ……..a Package such as Franson Kadri Kessel or another toi be named and a second for multiple players back including a power forward a young 1 A D man and a budding superstar could be had …..Maybe the Oilers are a good fit here ( as a scenario ) Yakupov, Gagner Horcoff or can you some how steal Evgeni Malkin out of Pittsburgh along with another player and prospect ….is this a route that can happen??? Would Sydney Crosby and Kadri & Kessel be lethal …..does Malkin deserve his own team such as the Leafs to be the man ????

    I think it should be explored!!

    Just saying !!

    • hahahaha> i am sure they will explore it. But you are not trading that package for a power forward, top pair d man and a young superstar.

  3. Tim Thomas is available and a lot cheaper than Luongo.Lots of talk on Boston sports radio about this situation.Also Jordan Caron has been absolutely horrible in Providence and may be in need of a new home as well.

  4. I read McKenzie’s article about the Rangers. I think he’s a bit off. First, Redden only has two years left on his contract, so I’m not sure why all the fuss.

    McKenzie also missed one option which is actually the most likely: Trade one bad cap hit for another. Once camps open, there are likely to be several teams that will also be looking to buy out players. Here’s a hypothetical example. Suppose the Rangers trade Redden to Tampa for Malone. The cap hits are similar but Malone has an extra year. The Rangers are thin on the front end and the cap hits are similar.

    The above is a hypothetical trade for example only.

    • With the cap coming down to 64 mil, here are the reasons why the Rangers can’t afford to keep Redden on the books for next season.

      Nash 7.8
      Hossa 7.5
      Lundquist 6.8
      Richards 6.6
      Callahan 4.2

      Those 5 players account for over half of the teams salary cap, on a 23 man roster. So when you add in Redden thats over 60% of their cap in 6 players, and one they don’t want on the roster.

      • Don’t froget they need to resign MDZ still also, with very little cap space.

      • Hossa doesn’t play for the Rangers lol

  5. @ JDBigC

    The idea of the trades sound good …but you have to have 2 parties willing to trade bad assets for each others bad assets….I do not think there are a lot of teams that want to take on bad assets for there own bad assets just to fill a position. Iam not sure any team wants Wade Redden …..not just because of his salary but because he wont help the team …and most players bad contracts are that way !
    A Scott Gomez will not help any team …and so on and so on …a bad contract is trading a poor player for a poor player !

    • Well, I’m not saying that the Rangers would have to give up something as an enticement. I also suspect that some teams will HAVE to move players because of cap reasons. Also I’m not convinced that it’s not worth while to give Redden a shot somewhere. There has to be a bottom feeding team for whom he would be an upgrade.

      And also, it would be different if Redden had 5 years left on his contract, but he only has this season and next. I just don’t see the big deal. If they take a salary back in return and give a prospect or a pick, they’re out of Redden’s contract.

      • correction on the above. “I’m not saying the Rangers WOULDN’T have to give up something…”

  6. The thought of Kessel and Kadri, both of which can’t or won’t backcheck would give Sidney Crosby nightmares. Malkin is a little too immature and a little too prone to pouting and taking nights off to be the number one guy, especially on a team so under the microscope as the Leafs.
    While I have never been a Phil Kessel fan, I give the guy credit for being a top scorer in this league, but who do the Leafs bring in that gives them the 30+ goals every year that Kessel gives them? I realize that with his lack of checking he let’s the other team score just about as many goals as he puts in the net but without him scoring goals, who do the Leafs fill his spot with that can guarantee netting Kessel like numbers?

    Luongo going to Philly seemed absurd until the new CBA allowed buyouts and paying a players partial salary in a trade, so now Philly could be a possibility but would Holmgren’s offer match Toronto’s, seeing as Vancouver desperately needs a scoring centre?
    As I have said before Luongo automatically puts the Leafs in the playoffs if they trade for him and playoff revenue is the name of the game for the new owners of the team. I look for him to be moved to Toronto where he will be reunited with Dave Nonis.

    As for Burke being fired yesterday, that was a weird move and should have probably been done at the end of last season. He may have done well stocking the Marlies with talent but they pay him to stock the Leafs and not their AHL affiliate and some of his moves at the NHL level were not good ones. The trade for Kessel aside, getting Phaneuf for that kind of money and then not letting the team vote on making him captain but just go ahead and hang a C on him did not work out well. He made a few other big league mistakes and in the end couldn’t get the team into the playoffs in any of his years in TO and that more than anything cost him.

    • Well said

      • The idea of stock piling their minor affiliate was to build a franchise from the bottom up, that would be competitive for years rather than a one time shot. Burke attempted to do what others have failed to do in the past and that was to create a winning team year in and year out through drafts. Albeit, he made some mistakes but the overall concept was long term growth which was never realized because his tenure was cut short. He needed a year maybe two for his vision to become fruition. I just hope this new management doesn’t choose to go the way of years past by patching holes with shoddy short term fixes and depleting their farm system in the same breath.

    • Some good points, however I think you are way off on your assessment of Malkin. I’m not sure how many nights he took off but it wasn’t many as he collected his second Art Ross trophy to go along with his Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe honors. Malkin can carry a team, look no further than the multiple times Sidney Crosby has unfortunately been injured and Geno has shouldered the load. If you are not impressed by Evgeni Malkin’s skill, size and overall ability I got to question what you are watching.

      The Penguins are not moving Malkin, especially not for Kessel and Kadri….that’s just commical.

  7. Holmgren if indeed let out that he was interested in Bobby Lou, is a smart move. Drive up the price on Lou, if he is coming out east why not make sure that the team that lands him pays for him. Lets face it Toronto will now have to give gillis what he wants just because they can’t chance it.

  8. @backchecking aka Slap and Shot/ Chris

    Good to see you back buddy. I didn’t recognize your new name but recognized your writing style today. Thanks for the list of Goalie UFA’s yesterday, ya, nothing much available next year so it looks like Lu is the Leafs only option. I can’t see Thomas coming here to much of a head case. Can you imagine Thomas in the Toronto media OMG… lol

    I agree it’s time to dangle Kessel but I also don’t see that happening. I think Nonis will stick to Burke’s plan and it will be business as usual. Burke has employeed Nonis for the last 10 years and I think those two will be keeping in close contact. All yesterdays firing of Burke did was press the reset button for the new owners and allowed them two more years of mediocrity without the fans revolting. Nonis gets a two year pass before fans start judging him and MLSE knows it.

    My biggest concern is next summer when Getlaf (the only true number one center available as a UFA) comes available. Is he really going to want to come play for Carlyle? Didn’t Carlyle get run out of town because Getz and Perry were underperforming? I see this being a major issue so if Carlyle is still here my feeling is the Leafs don’t get Getz which means trading a whole lot of young talent to try and aquire a true number one center. Of course there is already talk of Carter getting bought out on an amnsty deal so maybe someone else will pop up. Doubt it though.

  9. I say let Philly have Lu and buyout Bryz. The Leafs then turn around and sign Bryz to a reasonable contract for free. Bryz is still a top notch goalie but for some reason just not in Philly. Reimer and Bryz competing for the number one sounds good to me.

  10. I’ll I know is, I can’t wait until Sunday where we can see if any of the NHL’s trade/signing speculation pulls through.

    I’m hoping for a decent amount of activity, aka trade deadline / July 1 style, I think us fans deserve it!

  11. @ Beer goggles ……

    Its very much time to capitalize on Kessel ….he has done everything he can with this team we can not count on him for anything more …he will not take a team on his coat tails anywhere …I think he is a 50 goals scorer for sure but not on the leafs with this Roster ….he needs to go play with a quality team that is on the precipus of winning to be at his best value…..I think with the right package of youth and position needs Leafs can set themselves up large and with what they need right now to leasp frog some divisional rivals …IMO they have to do this trade within a month or the latest trade deadline ….he is at great value right now and can help a legit team tremendously ….he will not sign in Toronto in 2 years 100% ….have to do it next week if there is a very good deal to make for sure !!!

    A package of Kessel Kadri or ( Colborne ) Franson Scrivens and a 2nd rounder will bring in what we truly need for this year and the Future and hopefully a franchise tagged player and a few pieces……then our cap this summer is AWESOME and the Free agents galore.

    Great to rebuild around JVR and Phaneuf Gardner Frattin Grabovski Kostka Holzer and whatever you bring in from the Kessel deal …I really think this is the way to go !!!

    If the Leafs dont make major moves to improve they will not attract UFAs this summer that simple !!!

    • I don’t think Nonis will change the blue print he and Burke have created. I think guys like us will be waiting and hoping something changes but at the end of the day we will be sitting here in two years saying the same thing before Nonis gets canned.

      If that happens I hope MLSE will make sure they have a guy like Lamoriello, Devellano, Holland or Bowman lined up to come in and drastically change the way this team plays hockey. A good GM creates the type of system the team will play and hires a coach that will teach the system he wants then goes out and makes deals for players that will fit in that system. Burke did not do this. He inherited Wilson (although I think he had a hand in Wilsons selection knowing full well he would be GM of the Leafs) and let Wilson dictate the systme of play and the type of players needed for that system. GM’s like mentioned above create a system so it doesn’t matter who coaches (within reason) which is why the Wings can win with Bowman or Babcock and NJ wins with any coach.

  12. @backchecking: The Pens will not trade Malkin. They traded Jordan Staal, so they already split their “three headed monster”. They don’t need Kessel because of Neil, Kunitz and Dupuis. And I think they’ll sign another veteran winger as they did in the last years, may be Knuble.
    The only way the leafs get a legit no. Center is via free agency. So lets hope the Ducks will not resign Getzlaf and that he considers to play for the Leafs!

  13. @ Beer goggles
    Thats all fine ….the blueprint is over …..we have great pieces in play here if 2 major moves are made!

    Get what you can get for Kessel Kadri Franson Scrivens in a package deal for a power forward
    ( center ) and a 1A player ( second liner) and 1 A prospect from a team looking to make a serious move to improve to be a contender this year !

    #2) Have to find a way to secure the net …make a trade for either Halak, Luongo, Kipper or see if Tim Thomas is willing to come to Toronto .

    3) Waive or demote …..Komisarek , Connolly , Lombardi

    Input new acquisitions via Kessel trade …….Power forward, 1 A second liner and 1 A future prospect into lineup with :
    Lupul , JVR , Grabovski , Frattin , Kostka, Komarov, Gunnarson, Gardner , Phaneuf, and so on.

  14. One thing everyone seems to forget is that Lou has openly said that he wishes to play out his career in Florida. Burke may very well would have liked to have Luongo but his contract would contradict what he has been saying about such contracts, and it would have made him look like a hypocrite. Something that would make Burke cringe like biting down on aluminum foil. Imo trading Bozak(who I believe is underrated), Kadri, another player and another decent prospect would be a steep price to pay for a guy who has a long contract, is in his mid-thirties, who doesnt like the media limelight, doesnt really want to play there, and appears as though his skill is diminishing. If the leafs are as shitty as everyone seems to think, why in the world would luongo ever want to go to Toronto.
    I believe that the Canucks will hold on to him until next year. They feel there time in now and wont have the opportunity to win the cup when the Sedins start to lose it. If Schneider starts to falter they would at least have someone to fall back on as they do not have another goalie in the system to replace Schneider.

  15. Luongo could definitely help the Leafs.. but what happens if it doesn’t work out? That’s a 10 yr contract with about a 5M cap hit.. that the Leafs may not be able to deal away. To buy him out would cost a lot on the cap — if it’s after the amnesty buyout?

    Maybe Burke was right… the contract is scary and the asking price is high… It’s risky..

  16. Luke Adam is a good kid. I’d take a flyer on him.

  17. Sabres sign Jochen Hecht ? WTF ?? We have a bunch of talented young kids down in Rochester, Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam, Marc Mancari, and you go and sign an injury prone “has been” ? Must be a big trade going down in Buffalo cuz this shit don’t make no sense to me !!

    • Jason Pominville played with Hecht in Germany during the lockout and raved about his performance. He and Hecht played very well together. He’s healthy and apparently the Sabres were keen to bring him back for another season. Hecht was always a favorite of Lindy Ruff because of his two-way style. If healthy for the season, he could prove useful for the Sabres.