NHL Morning Rumor Mill – January 9, 2013.

The latest on Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Bernier and Jason Arnott, plus updates on the Senators, Flames, Blues and Sharks.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo longs to return to South Florida, but said nothing has changed since giving the green light to Canucks GM Mike Gillis to improve the club anyway he can. Luongo has “softened his stance” regarding the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs, admitting he’s open to other possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo wouldn’t say what those possibilities would be, and it remains to be seen if other clubs have jumped into the bidding. The Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers were listed as possibilities last summer but no one really knows if either team has expressed serious interest (if any) in Luongo.

Leafs still not interested in Bernier.

Leafs still not interested in Bernier.

TSN’s James Cybulski reported via Twitter ” I’m told Brian Burke and the Leafs have said no thanks to the Kings regarding G Jonathan Bernier.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits have insisted on linking Bernier to the Leafs, yet Burke steadfastly denies any interest in him.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Jason Arnott (who lives in Dallas) has been skating with some of the Stars during the lockout, but is under no contract and isn’t expected to be offered one by the club.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: If the Canucks are seeking blueline depth,Cam Barker and Jim Vandermeer are available in the UFA market. Vandermeer admitted talking to the Canucks, as well as other clubs.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are seeking depth for their defense. Agents for UFA blueliners like Chris Campoli, Colin White and Milan Jurcina have contacted the Senators, but GM Bryan Murray could look toward the trade market.

SPORTSNET’s Roger Millions reports via Twitter  the Flames “say they would like to add some grit before season starts. Would need to move someone of roster. Maybe a defenceman. (Anton)Babchuk?”

STLTODAY.COM: The new CBA could scuttle any plans by the Blues management to acquire another defenseman via trade before the start of the upcoming season.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson doesn’t sound as though he’ll be tapping into the thin UFA market for depth for his roster before the upcoming season begins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the Sharks clip. There really isn’t much available talent remaining in the UFA market.


  1. Makes sense Leafs wouldn’t be interested. Bernier is unproven as far as I’m concerned and so are Reimer and Scrivens. So why trade until you see what you got.

  2. Bernier did request a trade at the end of last season. It seems to me that Bernier doesn’t have as much trade value now as perhaps he should. I wonder if the Kings might hold Bernier this season and play him a little more. If his numbers are good, they can get a better return at the deadline or at the draft. This is even more possible given that Quick had surgery in the off-season, and the Kings may want to split the load.

    • I highly doubt the Kings would trade Bernier anyways right now, it doesn’t make sense for them. Especially with the shortened season they are going to need a capable back up to relieve some games in the condenced season, also Quick is coming off back surgery. Lombardi would be dumb to trade him right now, he needs to wait until the off-season where more teams may be interested as some may use the amnesty buyout to rid themselves of their goalie (Philly), or their current goalies don’t take that next step (Edm, Chi). So wait and keep Bernier and play him this year and boost his value and trade him when the market is hotter.

      • If the Kings deserately needs to fill a roster gap, I might disagree and say a trade could make sense if a team were willing… but the Kings have a solid team from top to bottom. No need to trade a valuable asset unless you are getting something you want and/or need back.

  3. @JJB you took the words right out of my mouth. Bernier to the Leafs makes no sense.

    I am really on the fence about the Leafs trading for Luongo and his long term contract. There is no doubt the Leafs need a top notch vetran goalie as proven in the past with Belfor, Joseph, ect but the question remains is Luongo the guy or will trading for him turn into another Phaneuf deal. Are the Leafs just getting another over rated, over paid player with a long term contract that can’t be moved later? If this guy can’t handle the heat in the kitchen he will saddle the Leafs with a cap hit of over $5M for the forseeable future. Luongo is a huge gamble…

    Are there any other great goalies available next summer as UFA’s the Leafs can go after instead?

    • @Beergoogles

      How is Luongo over rated and over paid? He’s 2nd in wins for active goalies, he’s 2nd in wins since the last lockout. There are 9 other goalies in the league with a higher cap hit then him but he puts up better numbers then them. So lets get this straight, he wins more, he has better save %, and better GAA then 90% of the goalies in the league but gets paid less then 9 other goalies in the NHL.

      Only reason he’s a scapegoat in Van is becauce he himself has painted him as a scapegoat to take the blame off of the team. If he can handle the pressure in Van like a true pro then he’ll be able to handle it in TO. You have never heard one player ever say anything bad about Lou in the dressing as a teammate.

      Unless of injuries he’ll be a HOF goalie and probably pass Belfour to move 3rd all times in wins.
      His contract is long but he’ll retire well before it runs out and it’ll come off the books, TO has more then enough to take on his contract.

    • I dare say that if Luongo were on the Leafs and he took them to game 7 of the SCF he would be heralded as a great goalie and Leaf fans would be ecstatic. Nothing against the Leafs organization but they consider it a great season when they make the playoffs whereas the Canucks organization considers getting the President’s Trophy business as usual.

      • hahaha presidents trophy business as usual, and how is that working out for ya? I’m no Leaf fan either but it seems funny to hear a Canuck fan bash a Leaf fan.

        • I was not bashing Leaf fans but rather just pointing out the difference between the two organizations and how they have different expectations. When you haven’t made the playoffs since the last lockout your idea of success is to measured by just making the playoffs, and from there anything can happen, which the LA Kings proved last year. But when you have not only made the playoffs almost every year but also been to the SCF you start expecting along with demanding more from the players and organization.
          The fans in each city are passionate and want their team to do well but the perception and description of what doing well means seems to differ geographically between those two cities.

          As an addition: if what we have been hearing, rumour wise, regarding the reason Burke was fired is true and the Maple Leafs Board of Directors get their way, we can expect Luongo soon to be wearing a Maple Leaf and one or two players who currently wear the Maple Leaf to be buying umbrellas and living in Vancouver.
          If that happens I will almost guarantee that this year the Leafs not only make the playoffs but also do well in them.

  4. I read and believe I understand how the cap hit would work out for both Vancouver and Toronto if Luongo was traded to the Leafs but what would happen if the Leafs down the road traded him to Florida and if Florida then traded him to … etc., etc., etc.?
    Does the break down of his cap hit get divided by the number of teams that are in on him or did the “Luongo Rule” only take in one trade?

  5. @ Beergoggles and JJB

    Totaly agree with unproven for Bernier scouting reprt has him as a backup right now!!
    Has only played 48 NHL games in almost 4 years, can’t give away quality propects for what you all ready have!

    HOWEVER …..by turning away Bernier does this silently say that there is a Goalie deal done for the Leafs , I would have to predict this answer to be a yes ! ….Is Tim Thomas even a possibilty for a lighter deal than Luongo as my preference would be TT.

    @ Beergoggles her is a list of 15 top UFA Goalies next year ! …..NOTHING GOOD HERE to spend a sum on!

    Also , just a quick hit …..The leafs should sign Jason Arnott for $2million 1 year to get some stanley cup presence on the team and move out Connolly Lombardi and Bozak if possible ! Arnott is good for the same amount of Gaols but plays tougher and would be a HUGE asset!

    Backstrom, Niklas »
    Thomas, Tim
    Khabibulin, Nikol
    Nabokov, Evgeni »
    Howard, Jim
    Smith, Mike
    Theodore, Jose »
    Mason Chris
    Garon, Mathieu »
    Labarbera, Jason »
    Emery, Ray »
    Budaj, Peter »
    Nihlstorp, Christopher
    Fasth, Viktor
    Boucher, Brian

  6. @ the crew here

    Luomngo or Tim Thomas and possibly Halak are the only quality Goalies the Leafs can get that have experience enough to make an impact …as for the cap hit if you want a QUALITY # 1 guy you will have to pay at least %4 million a season for a top 10 goalie in the league so Luongo fits in there with no issue.

    Luongo finished the decade as the # 2 Goalie only short of Brodeur and ahead of Kipper.

    If th eLeafs have any future plans to win now or the next year they have to make this move or they will be in trouble without a legit quality tender no matter what they have upfront ..they need the big saves when they can get them …if Luongo wa sin net last year they would have been in the playoffs and he would have settled down a struggling team and stole a few games …thats what an eleit tender does and he is …regardless of weather you hate him or not thats what he has been doing since day 1!

  7. Bernier represents nothing different than what the Leafs already have in Reimer. Luongo or Tim Thomas would give the Leafs that elite goaltender who can lead and steal games for them but Thomas is very likely not available leaving only Luongo that we know openly know of.

    Luongo may prefer Florida but unless Gillis gets a deal he can live with from anybody, Luongo could very well ride the end of the bench until the trade deadline anyways. As it stands, the Canucks have an expensive backup goalie in Luongo while facing daily media questions about his status. Gillis doesn’t have to trade him no but then again I dont think he wants the media distractions that will come with having him on the team either.

  8. TSN is reporting that the Leafs fired Burke. Holy smokes. Didn’t see that one coming. I wonder if it’s tied to Luongo.

  9. Personally, my goalie of choice if it could be done via the trade route is finding a way for the Leafs to trade for Mikka Kiprusoff. 3 years older I know but no ugly contract and given a shortened season with Reimer as a backup, could easily steal games and give them that elite goalie without the cumbersome contract of Luongo’s. He’s got one more year on his contract after this for $5.8 million per season and would likely ensure a playoff berth for the Leafs which might save Burke’s job.

    Now whether the Leafs have anything the Flames would is another question. Opinions vary as to whether he’s better or worse than Luongo but I think he’s more than capable of stealing games and mentoring Reimer and is considered an excellent team mate as well. Just couldn’t hurt to ask about his availability is all I’m saying as he makes more sense to me than Luongo does with less risk as well.

  10. Leafs just fired Brian Burke

    • Ya..Im at TSN now..wow

  11. Arnott wanted to stay in Dallas-his family is there – however he currently has two stronger offers from West conference teams- one being Vancouver but the Luongo trade has yet to transpire- dictating 2 or 3 rd line center
    I agree Leafs need leadership and he is a strong centre whom offers just that.

  12. @Eddie
    I did not say “we are getting another over paid player” I said “Are the Leafs just getting another over rated, over paid player with a long term contract that can’t be moved later?” It was a question not a statement…

    The bigger news is Burke’s firing. I have to admit Burke trashed all those long term contracts and wouldn’t participate which hindered the Leafs from getting better by adding top end talent. Now the new CBA allows two contracts to be bought out on the amnisty provision so entering into those crazy contracts proved to be just fine. Burke ended up with egg on his face over that one.

    Anyways hopefully the Leafs will be announcing Scotty Bowman as the new GM. lol

  13. Kipper will retire a Flame. Sorry.

  14. Nonis as the new GM… Nothing changes

  15. Burke getting canned sure caught many of us off guard. One prevailing story from the Hot Stove was in part because Burke refused to do the Luongo deal. If this is true, and again, all speculation, having removed Burke does open some doors of negotiations with GM’s around the league who may have otherwise refused to deal with the Leafs.
    As per the news conference, Burke will remain as a senior adviser to the Board of Directors so I guess its quite possible the Luongo is very well on his way to the Leafs.

  16. I have a feeling new ownership realized if the Leafs started slow out of the gate (which is quite likely) it would turn into a media circus screaming for Burke’s head. By moving Burke to a senior advisor role and letting Nonis take over it buys new ownership a few years before fans start yelling for the GM’s head. This is a total media game play and nothing more. If there was an issue with Burke and the way it’s being run they wouldn’t be keeping Burke as an advisor and Nonis as GM. This is all about creating a new perception to the rabid fans and buying new ownership time.

  17. With the firing of BB — I fully expect Nonis to go after Luongo… unless the cost is riduculous.

    I hope the Sens find a decent UFA D to fill in on D.. Bring up 1 D from Binghamton. But as Paul McLean said yesterday…. don’t forget the Sens are still developing talent and he isn’t concerned about using the young players from Binghamton if they can fill the spots.. It’s only the 2nd year of the re-tool…

    • What I fear is that Nonis becomes a puppet for an over involved owner. Burke signed his deal with the epxectation that ownership would stay out of his business and let him make hockey decisions… I doubt Nonis has that luxury.

      I would suspect this is related to Luongo, and that ownership has decided that he is necessary in Toronto if only to give the fans something to believe in for the next 1.5 seasons.

  18. Luongo tweeted something about tackling relocation
    On the first day that transactions are allowed, the leafs will announce the deal. If the Burke firing was because he didn’t want to make the deal, does that mean that we will cough up more than Burke was comfortable with?
    Raymond to Toronto
    + decent prospect( Percy Finn blacker )
    And possibly Reimer or scrivens. I would put my money on Reimer.
    Bozak and Connolly would give the Canucks a bit more depth down the middle with Kessler being out. Reimer as a back up is cost effective and kadri and Percy are decent prospects.
    Luongo is the leafed best goalie since cujo, and Raymond would help solidify the top 9. Thank god hockey is back!
    Good luck to all the poolers, fantasy owners, and armchair gms everywhere. And btw, Mr Spector, have a great new year and thanks once again for the best NHL rumor site on the web.

  19. Nice leafs goalie
    Not leafed

  20. Makes all the business sense to put Burkie in the background and let Nonis do the talking, I agree. I mean, I’d rather deal with Dave Nonis than Brian Burke any day of the week! Bringing Luongo to Toronto will cost Bozak or Kadri or Colbourne as the main ingredient. Expect Komiserek or Rynnas to be in there and or Kulemin with perhaps a pick involved. I strongly believe an injured Luongo is better than a healthy Scrivens (with no disrespect to Ben). Bozak is not going to get the Leafs into the playoffs, but could be a suitable replacement for Kessler. Colbourne adds some size, Rynnas buys you time for a veteran UFA backup goalie, and Komiserek might be able to turn it around with a fresh start in Vancouver, also adding some size for a playoff destined team. Should Luongo land in Toronto, that makes Reimer expendable in the near future. Leafs need a bonafied #1 goalie today, whilst I’m still alive!

  21. The Leafs have added an asset for trading purposes now that Brian Burke is available. I still maintain that Burke’s ultimate career goal is to replace Gary Bettman. Wouldn’t that create headlines throughout the hockey world?
    Meanwhile the Leafs still need an elite goalie and Roberto Luongo definitely qualifies; and if he regains full health, James Reimer might become a solid backstop.
    I still think that hockey fans should lock out the NHL for the rest of this season – put them through bankruptcy protection and a better league will rise from the ashes – twenty teams, promotion and relegation, no salary cap, a Champions League with Europe – wait! there’s already a league like that! Oh well,life goes on………

  22. I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of Brian Burke as a General Manager. But if the rumours are true about him wanting to trade for Luongo but not pulling the trigger on the deal because he believed the price the Canucks wanted for him was too high, and thereby going against not only his advisors but also the wishes of the Board and got fired because of it, then I have to give the man his dues, he has integrity.
    It remains to be seen if a deal for Luongo gets done and what it costs the Leafs and while it is rumoured that it could be Kadri and Bozak, which could make sense for both teams, it is also rumoured that Gardner
    was involved as well and that might be where Burke dug his heels in and made that his hill to die on and it cost him his job.
    It shall soon all be revealed.

  23. @ Jimbrawl..I like Arnott but the last thing the Leafs need is yet another third line centre.

    @ Captain Ahab..I agree Burke has integrity and his principles, which likely got him booted. New Ownership ( read hardcore ruthless media barons) was probably not interested in his principles and ethics, just the bottom line, which was no playoffs for waaaaay too long. Burke is also not a “yes man” for anyone and would not tolerate anything but total autonomy, and no tinkering, which does not fit in with the corporate profile of Rogers or Bell. What I found most interesting is when Nonis was asked what the key difference was between he and Burke, and he answered that he was more “patient”. So how many years do you think they are going to give you Dave, if they only gave Burkie 4 years? Ken Holland says you need at least 5 years to reshape a team. Many people got reallyexcited about the Rangers this year. Guess how many years it took sather to get them to get to where they got? Twelve. Yep. You can’t change the world in a day….

    • With the owners being “media specialists”, one has to assume much of their decision making will have little to do with the quality of the hockey product, and more to do with headlines.

      I suspect Nonis is a temporary solution until Bel-gers can hire a big name replacement GM who *will* act as a yes man for the media barons.