NHL Morning Rumor Mill – July 25, 2013.

Get the latest on Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Ales Hemsky and more.

Could Roberto Luongo's new agents do a better job helping to get him traded?

Could Roberto Luongo’s new agents do a better job helping to get him traded?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/SPORTSNET.CA: Ben Kuzma and Dan Murphy speculate over why Roberto Luongo decided to hire new agents to represent him, suggesting perhaps they might do a better job finding a trade partner than his previous agent did.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps they can, but if they can do it this summer, they’re not agents, they’re miracle workers. There’s not much of a market for goaltenders this summer (just ask Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov), particularly for a goalie carrying a contract with nine years and $40.5 million left on it, plus a no-trade clause giving him control over where he could be dealt.

Even if the Canucks were willing to pick up half Luongo’s contract this summer, it still won’t be easy to move him.  Luongo has few options available this summer. He either reports to the Canucks, refuses to report and gets suspended, or retires. It’s in his best interests to report and play his best, while his new agents try to shop his services around the league. A strong performance this season will go a long way toward improving his trade value.

SI.COM: Allan Muir reports UFA goalie Tim Thomas has limited options this summer, suggesting the Florida Panthers might be his best bet as a training camp invite. Otherwise, Thomas might have to wait until earlier in the season to land an NHL contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Muir noted, the Panthers are trying to attract fans and Thomas might help in that regard, but they won’t just hand him a contract and make him their starter. GM Dale Tallon insists he’ll stick with his younger players and that includes goalie Jacob Markstrom. Unless Markstrom and Scott Clemmensson struggles in preseason/early season play, they’re the Panthers tandem this season. Other clubs (Flyers, Islanders, Flames) will also enter training camp with questionable goaltending, but like the Panthers I expect those clubs will take some time to evaluate their goaltending before looking at Thomas as an option.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance lists Thomas, Mikhail Grabovski, Damien Brunner, Dan Cleary, Brad Boyes and Brenden Morrow among the best remaining unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of this group, I expect all but Thomas will be under contract when the season starts. That’s not a slight against Thomas, just an indication of the low demand for goalies this summer.

EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson wonders if Ales Hemsky could be dealt to the Nashville Predators or Phoenix Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If those clubs were interested, wouldn’t they have tried to acquire him by now? Maybe they’ll have more interest during training camp if they feel the need to bolster their offense, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to get the Oilers to pick up part of his salary.


  1. Lets see, Hemsky plays RW, and Jim Matheson is wondering if he’ll be dealt to Nash or Phx. If I were a GM of either of those two teams, I’d rather pick up Mason Raymond, as he can play either LW or RW. He is younger, faster and will be cheaper.

    • Younger, faster and cheaper does not win you games. Skill does and Raymond is average.

      • yes sir as average as they come. overrated imo.

      • Hemsky’s career point per game average is 0.76 and Raymond’s is 0.47. Which one is more likely to help a team that is looking for offense. Also, have you ever seen hemsky skate? The guy can fly and make plays with the puck in full flight. Agree with the comment below. Raymond is a good bottom 6 guy. Hemsky can inject offense in a top 6 role.

    • I think the difference is that Raymond is a bottom 6 player and Hemsky (when healthy) is a top 6.

  2. When I saw Lu change agents, I wondered why as well. I think it’s still a mystery. It doesn’t sound like he actually needs any, looking at his contract… unless he intends to go to Russia.

    Markstrom left way more to be desired last year. I hope Tallon knows what he’s doing with this goaltending. Goaltenders have made the best GMs look mediocre (Burke a great example in Vancouver, sticking to Cloutier) and the mediocre GMs look like the best (see Poile).

    Thomas should be signed by November. I have no idea why teams like the Islanders, the Flyers, Florida won’t sign him. If anything, set up a double-headed tandem like you have in NJ right now so that Thomas can mentor a future starter.

    It surprises me that Brunner is still available. He did have 9 points in 14 playoff games with Detroit. Yes, he’s playing with pretty good players in Detroit, but this was all his rookie season in the NHL. He’d be a good second line wing on most teams out there and he’s not logjamming anyone’s “center” tandems.

    • Islanders have Nabokov, Flyers have Emery – so that leaves Florida. Florida has the cap space, but would leave Vancouver short at Goalie. I was thinking that perhaps a 3 way deal could happen Miller to Vancouver, Luongo to FL and than something to Bflo but I really don’t see much on the FL roster that Buffalo could use.

      I think Vancouver made their committment to Luongo by trading Schnieder. Ultimately, hockey is a business and Luongo knows this. I think Van tried to accomodate Luongo but the contract that both of them signed handcuffed the team. Luongo knows this very well – so he needs to just move forward.

      • Gudbranson and a second to Buffalo Miller to Van Lu to Fla….

        Something could be worked out there I think it just may take some tweaking due to all the variance in the length of contracts but each team would have pieces that would be of interest to one another.

        • Why would Fla trade assets for a goalie when they can sign either Bryz or Thomas for 1 year?

          • Im not saying they would…lol
            Im saying if Tallon did want Luongo in particular at a relatively cheap price (a roster player and a second round pick are not really outlandish assets) and if the Sabers and Canucks were interested in sorting out the Miller and Lu sagas there could be a way to do it…thats all nothing more

      • Florida has draft picks and not much else of value at this time.

        • A guy like Gudbranson helping shore up that terrible D might be a start.

          • Van and Buffalo both have to realize that moving either one of these goalies is not going to net a huge return if any Van would get another Goalie with a big price tag but only one year to the deal, Buf would get a pick and a big d man who is still relatively young but not much of a puck mover but more of a stay at home type Fla gets a very good goalie with a bad contract relatively cheaply problem being they have a good young guy

        • Florida has the ability to take on cap space, which is probably worth more than Miller alone.

      • Are you kidding Steve? The Panthers have a huge prospect talent. They are look real good for the future. I dunno if you pay attention to prospects at all but as a Sabres fan you should know we are going for a younger crop of players and that is who we are targeting. Just to name a few good young players/prospects that the Panthers have that can comeback to Buffalo.

        1. Nick Bjugstad
        2. Drew Shore
        3. Rocco Grimaldi
        4. Zach Hyman
        5. Quinton Howden
        6. Yaroslav Kosov
        7. John McFarland

        1. Erik Gudbranson
        2. Alex Petrovic
        3. Colby Robak

        1. Jakub Markstrom

        As I said lots of good prospects that Sabres are looking for.

        • Jes – I’m not kidding – as I said I don’t see much on the roster – could be because I don’t know that much about them. I don’t think the Sabres need a goalie as we have like 5 + miller, but Bjugstad and a draft pick would definitely make things interesting.

        • They have great prospects but don’t expect Tallon to trade away they guys he drafted. McFarland maybe not much else. Anyone that puts Gudbranson, Markstrom, Bjugstad, Shore, Howden or Petrovic in trade rumours is just dreaming. Tallon will not be trading these guys.

    • Markstrom had a shaky start when Theo went down but so did Clemmensen. Theo himself wasn’t that great before his injury. Then Markstrom played outstanding including stealing a game in Madison Square Garden while out playing Lundqvist. Markstrom is the real deal, the question does Clemmensen have anything left to be more than a solid backup? Maybe Panthers want to use platoon goalie system this year and Clemmensen may not be up to it…. Thomas will have to prove he is a good teammate with good character for the young players and with his political statements with Bruins and the distraction it had on the team you have question whether any team wants that in their locker room. With Markstrom ready or near ready to take the number one spot I doubt that Panthers would seriously consider Luongo and his contract. If Markstrom needs another year there is a better chance Panthers trade for Jaroslav Halak who has a $4,500,000 salary and $3,750,000 cap hit (according to CapGeek) but would become a UFA following the season. They don’t need a head case in Thomas or the Luongo albatross contract when they have a very good goaltender in Markstrom, if not ready now he will be soon. Trading for Halak or another good goaltender with a short contract would make more sense.

    • I’m also surprised that Brunner is still available. He does have that ‘boom or bust’ potential though (ie Ville Leino). One would have to assume at this point that, lacking any other logical reasons for his availability, he may either be a) pricing himself out of reasonable price range, or b) waiting for Ken Holland to make room for Cleary and himself to stay in Detroit.

      • There is no way in hell Tallon trades Gudbranson and a 2nd for either one of Miller and Lou. That would be just moronic. Not to mention he has stated MANY times that the team will be going with Markstrom for the future.

        • My bet is still on the Blues trading for Miller. I see Oshie and Halak coming our way while Miller and Stafford going to the Blues. Sabres will also retain half of Miller’s salary. Or I could see Rattie and Halak for Miller.

          Halak will be traded and Elliott will walk as a UFA and Miller will be given a 3 year contract extension by the Blues; just enough time to mentor Allen into the starting role.

          • Jes, my gut also leans towards St. Louis being Miller’s ultimate destination. I would be very happy to get Halak and Oshi or Ratti. But instead of throwing Stafford in the deal, I would rather throw in Adam. I liked the way Stafford played after his benching last year – he became more physical and finally was willing to battle in front of the net and in the corners. I think if he can focus on using his size and playing more physical the goals will start coming.

        • Read the whole thing…you know the part that says Florida has a good young guy in Markstrom and that there are pieces there that could interest all three teams if they were looking to do a deal like that before you troll out some more. It wasnt implied that they should or would do the deal it was a hypothetical reply to a couple peoples post.

        • @Canadian King

          Canucks would probably have to give up there 2nd rounder maybe even the 1st instead of the 2nd because Canucks will as usual do great in the regular season and fail miserably in the playoffs resulting in a pick that will be in the 20’s. I say the Canucks because hey the Panthers would have to get something great in return for taking on a goalie for basically the rest of his playing career and a whole lot of cash. Maybe something like…

          To Vancouver
          Ryan Miller

          To Buffalo
          Erik Gudbranson or another prospect or two depending on there skillset
          2nd Rounder From The Panthers

          To Florida
          Roberto Luongo
          Drew Stafford
          1st or 2nd Rounder From The Canucks

          • Jes what are you smoking? Panthers will not trade Erik Gudbranson & they love Markstrom and don’t want Luongo. St. Louis has Jake Allen to be their number one. There is almost no market for Miller or Luongo. Neither goaltender will be traded.

  3. That’s why Markstrom has a two-way deal on this upcoming season. I still think that the Panthers are mulling over Luongo as well.

  4. This begs the question: Why the hell did Vancouver trade Schneider if they still intend to trade Luongo?

    I think Van realized they wouldn’t be able to trade him and decided to stick with him, at least for a few years.

    • They dont to “intend to” it may be more of a Roberto dosent “intend to” spend the rest of his career in Vancouver.

      • Whatever happens is all Gillis’ creation. He signed Luongo to a huge contract in dollars and years, then proclaimed his backup as his starter letting Luongo endlessly drift in the wind and when he was the last man on planet earth to realize he can’t trade Luongo and his owners wouldn’t let him buy Luongo out, he traded his new starter and proclaimed Luongo as the new “new” starter all without consulting Luongo. Can’t blame Luongo for being upset with Gillis, that said unless he wants to retire from the NHL he will play for the Canucks in a new tougher division and may again be the guy the team throws under the bus if they don’t win as many games.

  5. Tim Thomas has been effectively blackballed in the NHL because of his slight against Jeremy Jacobs and the Boston Bruins. Unless he wants to go play in the KHL (gasp), I doubt he earns another decent contract in his playing career. Some may spin it that the demand for goalies is at an all-time low, but if there’s an upgrade available, most reasonable GM’s will at least kick the tires. With regards to Thomas, we’ve had minimal smoke (even Eklund is having a hard time fabricating rumours about him), which means there isn’t much burning at the moment.

    If/when Ales Hemsky is dealt, the Edmonton Oilers will eat a portion of his salary. My guess is that whoever “wins” the Hemsky sweepstakes will be the team that demands the least amount of salary retained by Edmonton, not necessarily the quality of assets going the other way.

    • I don’t think Tim Thomas has been “blackballed in the NHL” the fact is there are more goalies available and Thomas’ political distractions while a Bruin makes him less appealing. Ilya Bryzgalov is still available, plus Ryan Miller & Jonas Hiller are most likely available via trade as is Halak. Not a sellers market for goaltenders.

  6. Hemmer will get traded at the deadline.

    Brunner is obviously asking for way too much money.
    Otherwise, he’d be signed by now.

    Boyes will be signed once a team loses a top-2 lines winger to major injury.

    Anyone who reads Eklund needs to get a life, try reading a book or get some exercise.

  7. Markstrom is Florida’s goalie of the future, and I believe they want him to get reps now. It would be absurd to bring in another old goalie to compete for the #1 role. Now is a good time since Florida has low expectations this season.

    Remember Markstrom has big time pedigree.

  8. It was announced now that Grabovski is deciding between 3 teams to sign with

    • i’m thinking it’s between

      1. Washington
      2. Calgary
      3. Winnipeg

      • Winnpeg has been ruled out, I think it’s


  9. I believe the 3 teams IMO are (In order of most likely destination)

    1. Washington
    2. Calgary
    3. Winnipeg

  10. UPDATE: MLSE has signed Nonis to a 5 year extension

    • Que the beer goggles rant….

    • Nice. I personally hate the Leafs but Nonis is a GM that is very underrated IMO. He will and has done good for that team. Damn it why couldn’t the Sabres just fire Regier and hire him?

      • lol why is he underrated? what did he do?

        • Im not sure on the underrated part but one could argue that Gillis inherited a pretty good team that went to the finals with Nonis’s finger prints all over it Luongo Vingualt Sedins resigned drafted Schnider, Edler, Raymond, signed Willie Mitchel and Alex Burroughs all a big part of what the Canucks became winning Presidents trophies and going to the finals, this year he got rid of Lombardi Komisarek Grabo, was probably a factor in giving Kadri a bit more slack and making the big club….and his record as a GM is way over .500 so he has done some good things as a GM…lol

          • Don’t forget he’s learned from one of the best.
            Love him or hate him, Burke was an effective GM wherever he was, and taught Nonis well.
            The trouble with Burke is that the media hate him, and other GM’s were weary of making deals because he was good at scooping up unnoticed talent from other teams. This is not the case (yet) with Nonis.

          • Pretty sure Bruke would get rid of Lombardi & Komisarek, pretty sure Kadri would be playing last year under Burke too. Burkie did the same with Ryan.. if you remember he was in between NHL and AHL for almost a year.. I am not sure if Burke would buy out Grabovski and sign Clarkson to that contract.

          • If Burke would get of Lombardi why didnt he Burke was the one who ridiculously over paid for Grabo and Komisarek and I dont think anyone (particularly Flyers fans) should be judging Clarksons contract (hello Mark Streit and Bryzgalov) as a bad one until he plays a few games as a Leaf judging by the contracts Horton and Clowe got it seems to be about right maybe a little long but who know where the cap will be 6 years from know might be a bargin (probably not but you never know) I liked Burke too but have no problem with giving Nonis a 5year extension it just means he wont feel the need to rush to build and make snap decisions, if it dosent work out he can still be fired and paid out, not like the Leafs are hurting for money.

          • What has Holmgren done besides screw up a pretty decent team that Clarke built? Last time I looked the “problems in the locker room” all have cup rings the “problem in net” won a vezna and you guys got 2 of the top 10 biggest buyouts in NHL history…good work Homer nice job lol

          • How isn’t Nonis an underrated GM? If no one was wanting to take him on after he built a Stanley Cup contender in the Canucks. And was hired to be a mere assistant GM after his work with the Canucks. A guy like that should be hired to head GM position right away. Instead he got snubbed and signed as a assistant GM!!

            Him not getting a job as the main GM of a team in years is what makes him underrated.

            Definition of Underrated

            Underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something)

    • Watch him play he is brutal in his own end old and on the downside of his career. Im glad that as a fan you can point to the two guys who came back in that trade and say “well they have great stats”… Really Im pretty sure Id rather have the guys with the cup rings that have looked pretty good themselves (look at the stats? Carter was on pace to score nearly 50 goals this year…lol) and this isnt even getting in to the buy outs or the fact the goalie he gave away won a vezna this year again Im pretty sure there are alot more people around that would take Nonis as their GM before they would take Homer…he is Milburryish lets go on with your list….Schenn has looked good but to say that was a steal of a deal or something close to brilliant is far from right JVR has looked at least as good possibly better so that leaves Grossman way to go Homer you took advantage of Joe Newendike (which is basically like being proud of yourself for getting to second base with the sleazy chick in high school who slept with the football team) and Couturier who did look good in his first year but deffiately took a step back this year and is still a bit of a work in progress. Nonis did nothing in his career wake up man lol your blinded by the orange

      • watch him play? Hey bud… He was in atlantic division, he had some injury a year ago which kind of slow him dow a little. He is 100% healthy now. He is top 20 o-sive d-men in NHL. NYI were going to resign to keep him.

        As far as B.Schenn it’s an even trade.

        Voracek was on pace to score 40 goals and was basically point per game player unlike Carter. I’ll do that trade 10 times out of 10. Carter scored 26 goals 33 points Voracek scored 22 46pts. Are you freaking kidding me? check stats, check d-sive g ame. wth… wow..

        • Meant to say as far as Luke Schenn with Leafs.. it was an even trade.

        • Carter Cup winning goal cup ring on pace for 50 goals this year…Voracek good player but not Carter, Richards for Schenn and Simmonds again good players but Richards has a cup ring Calder cup, memorial cup , also a trip to the finals and confrence semis with the Flyers traded then what happened? The guy has been a winner everywhere he went, tough well respected and viewed as a leader by team mates sometimes stats dont tell the whole story. Ill stick to the opinion Homer is not a very good GM his work speaks for it self. Problems in net and in the room have all gone on to be successful with cup ring and trophies mean while the Flyers give out bad contracts buy out bad contract and have been in decline since those guys left, the results also speak for themselves.

    • Jesus.. here..

      Aside from Luongo trade Nonis did nothing. Nonis has ZERO credentials.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Nonis. Have a happy reading.

      • Wiki???…lol i prefer to watch hockey then read snipits about it on wiki thanks anyway but curious does that article even mention his drafting of Schnider Edler, signing Mitchel. Burrows hiring the coach that won 2 presidents trophies and made it to the Finals or does it just kind of skim over that?

  11. Dale Tallon better do something,those seats are empty in Florida.The Panthers have not been relavent since VanBiesbrouck and Mellanby put them on the map.

    • this is the biggest reason I could see for bringing back Lu…

      • As someone who lives in South Florida and goes to Panthers game I can say Luongo is not a draw. People had a decade of losing and went to other teams like the Heat and Dolphins. If Panthers want to get people in the arena they need to win. The year before last Panthers sold out every playoff game against the Devils and the atmosphere was electric. One thing to note when you watch on TV there is a huge empty section where the Panthers made it a Club Red and it costs something like $20,000 a seat and includes all events hockey and all concerts and a sexy club with excellent food and beverages. A lot of people talk of the cheap $7 seats but no one mentions the expensive Club Red which is 99% empty and at center ice..