The latest on Roberto Luongo, Wade Redden, Michael Del Zotto, Keith Yandle and David Krejci.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is prepared to wait as long as it takes for GM Mike Gillis to trade him. “I told him I was ready to go as long as it took,” Luongo told a crush of reporters. “Whether it’s a couple of days, a week, two weeks or the end of the season, I’m totally fine with it.” The Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers are believed among the suitors for Luongo.
CSNPHILLY.COM: John Boruk lists four reasons (upgrading the position, compliance buyout, cap recapture formula and failure to bolster the defense) why it would make sense for the Flyers to consider acquiring Luongo. Boruk also believes “realistically” the Flyers will roll the dice with Ilya Bryzgalov for another season, and could consider a more affordable off-season acquisition like Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the expectation is Luongo could be dealt swiftly, perhaps as soon as this coming week, we should also consider the possibility this could drag on for weeks, maybe even months, stretching into the summer. As for the Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren has denied the rumors he’s interested in Luongo, but that hasn’t silenced the speculation. If they do land Luongo, they’ll definitely buy out Bryzgalov this summer.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks yesterday reported it appears defenseman Wade Redden will sit out this season at the request of the Rangers in order to avoid a possible injury which would hamper their efforts to make him a compliance buyout candidate this summer.
NBCSPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Redden reportedly won’t be invited to training camp by the Rangers, and the club has given his agent permission to speak with other teams. The Blueshirts hope the fact they can retain up to half of Redden’s remaining salary under the new CBA might attract some interest from teams which would otherwise pass on his $6.5 million per season cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Redden also has a partial “n0-trade” clause in which he submits a list of eight teams he wouldn’t accept being dealt to, but at this stage in his career, I doubt he’ll object if he gets a chance to return to the NHL.
NEW YORK POST/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: It’s possible the Rangers might not have RFA defenseman Michael Del Zotto under contract when training camp opens on Sunday. Larry Brooks reports it is believed the Blueshirts have offered up a two-year, $2.4 million per season contract while Del Zotto is seeking something closer to $3 million per, while Pat Leonard speculates the Rangers have offered up $1.875 million per, with Del Zotto seeking something around $2.5 million per.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Del Zotto’s status has fueled trade speculation, including a blogosphere rumor suggesting he could be peddled to the Edmonton Oilers. The Rangers, however, need Del Zotto’s offensive skills on the blueline, so moving him could adversely affect their offensive attack, especially on the power-play, unless GM Glen Sather has a plan up his sleeve to replace Del Zotto. We’ll see how this develops…
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan reports Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar laughed off rumors he might be dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins. With Jared Cowen out for the season and Mike Lundin out for several weeks with a hand injury, Scanlan believes it would make little sense to trade Gonchar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gonchar were to be traded this season, my bet is it’ll be near the trade deadline if the Senators are out of the playoff race. Otherwise, they won’t move him.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle was the subject of trade rumors last summer, but maintains he doesn’t want to play for anyone else. “The Coyotes are my team,” Yandle said. “I didn’t want to play for another team and be with another organization. I wanted to just always be loyal to this team and always play here. Obviously a lot of guys went to play, but I’m happy with my decision to stay.”
ESPN BOSTON: James Murphy reports Bruins forward David Krejci is determined to silence the trade rumors which dogged him last summer and put his struggles of last season behind him.