NHL Morning Rumor Mill – June 6, 2013.

The latest on Roberto Luongo, Thomas Vanek, Mark Streit, and Damien Brunner.

Is there a trade market for Roberto Luongo this summer?

Is there a trade market for Roberto Luongo this summer?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Despite Roberto Luongo’s hefty salary, Tony Gallagher listedthe Flyers, Panthers, Oilers, Capitals, Sabres, Blues, Lightning, Flames and Wild as clubs with goalie issues who could have interest in the Canucks veteran. 

NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple doubts the NY Islanders would have interest in Luongo, citing his age (34) and “killer contract”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers biggest issue is landing a skilled top-two defenseman. They’ve acquired Steve Mason and could retain Ilya Bryzgalov for one more season, but even if they part ways with Bryzgalov, I believe they would look at cheaper options than Luongo, unless the Canucks absorb part of his salary.

The Panthers seem to me the best fit, but again, the Canucks might have to eat some of Luongo’s salary to make it work, as well as lower their asking price.

The Oilers will stick with Devan Dubnyk as their starter and add an experienced backup. The Capitals are sticking with Braden Holtby, and if they were to dump Michal Neuvirth, it would be to re-sign center Mike Ribeiro, not to add an expensive goalie. The Sabres will dump salary between this summer and next in order to rebuild with young, affordable talent.  The Blues have three goalies already and must re-sign defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk, so Luongo isn’t a fit there. The Bolts are now set in goal with Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, plus they have only $3.32 million in cap space this summer. The Flames are going cheap, with Karri Ramo, Joey MacDonald, and whoever comes through their system, so no fit there. The Wild have too much money tied up in too few players to spring for Luongo.

So, the best option could be the Panthers, and maybe the Flyers if they dump Bryzgalov and if the Canucks take on half of Luongo’s salary. Another option is a compliance buyout of Luongo, but ownership doesn’t seem willing to do that.

WGR550: Matthew Coller examines the pros and cons of the Buffalo Sabres re-signing Thomas Vanek before he becomes a UFA next summer, and decides they would be better served investing the money in a younger scorer or a better all-round forward, like a two-center comparable to Patrice Bergeron or Anze Kopitar. He feels a one-dimensional player like Vanek is better suited on a Cup contender rather than a rebuilding team like the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out between now and next July if Sabres management shares that opinion.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson and Jonathan Willis noted the availability in this summer’s UFA market of NY Islanders defenseman Mark Streit. While acknowledging his skills would make him a good addition to the Oilers, his age (35) and reported salary demands (a four year deal worth over $5.5 million per season) makes him a risky long-term investment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers could get him for two years at $5 million per season, it would be worthwhile. Otherwise, pass.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Detroit Red Wings UFA forward Damien Brunner isn’t sure if he’ll be returning with the Wings next season. “It’s hard for me to say,” Brunner said. “We’ll see what’s coming. I’m excited about talking to them about my future.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Brunner’s contract demands are reasonable, I expect he’ll be back with the Wings next season.


  1. I still think the Pens are a real option for Lu. The question really is can Pittsburgh get paid for fleury or not.

    • Do they have the cap room?

      • Yes, the Penguins will find room to accommodate Luongo or better players. Fleury’s days in Pittsburgh are numbered and Vokoun will be a short-term fix.

  2. Wow, Gallagher is really reaching here, why not just list which teams don’t want Luongo instead? LOL

    The issue is they should’ve gotten rid of him before the start of this season. The closer we get to July 1st the more it looks as if there will be more possible goalie options on the market. (Backstrom, Miller, Bryzgalov, Nabakov,and good backups: Neuvirth, Khabibulin, Khudobin, Montoya, and Emery just to name a few possibilities) yes some of them are not as talented, but they’ll be much more affordable.
    I think in the end Vancouver will get barely anything for him, unless they decide to wait another year…

  3. I still believe Luongo ends up in Toronto, with Vancouver eating some cap space not dollars..which would suit the Leafs just fine. Reimer was as good as any goalie during the playoffs- he isnt Roberto Luongo. Vancouver also has a need to unload quite a bit of salary and perhaps a quality defenseman, could be made available (Edler/Bieksa) something the Leafs could dearly use…just a hunch..

    • I disagree, the ship has sailed for Luongo to come to T.O. Reimer has proven himself as a #1 starter, sure his game needs some tweaking, but every goalie at his age has room for improvement. The Leafs would be foolish to bring in another goalie. They need to address other more urgent issues like #1 Centre, and a solid, physical stay-at-home D-man (Bieksa would be good here, but I doubt Vancouver gets rid of him)
      Reimer and Scrivens should be able to hold the net between the 2 of them without the need for more goalie help.
      Keep in mind Luongo’s playoff record is not a shining beacon of goalie superiority…

  4. I wish Vancouver would do what’s best for the team and trade Schneider. He has two years left on his contract and after that he will have a higher cap hit than luo. Yes luo will be 43 when his contract is done but I don’t thinks is a huge factor anymore. Goalies have more frequently being starting goalies in their 40s. Belfour, Joseph, Roloson, Hasek, Brodeur (yes he’s in a different class). Khabibulin, Hedberg, Thomas are all going to play into their 40s as backups. By the time luongo is in his 40s the cap will be higher and I can’t see it being a big issue. If it becomes an issue at that time then trade him for nothing because that’s all they are going to get now. Schneider being traded now could get them the help they need now. Try Schneider and Edler for a top pick or top young players. The sedins are in the last year of their contracts.

    • Loy won’t be playing when he’s 43. He’s not going to play for 1 million a year. He’ll retire and the cap hits come off the books anyway because he signed before he was 36.

      • Not to be difficult but, the recapture rule was made for Lou and his contract he does fall under the rules…. a contract signed by anyone under the age of 35 that signed a contract that is 7 years or longer where their salary exceeds their cap hit prior to this cba, simply put if Lou retires at 38 his hit counts for another 3 years. Him Richards and a few others are risky investments unless bought out…..

  5. I agree GH- but because of the mess last year I think Schneider’s value has decreased somewhat and the teams who previously had goalie issues – have spent resources to address them. Gillis missed the boat and it looks good on him…I am curious to see how it all works out

    • I agree Gillis missed his opportunity to get anything back for Lou. His only option is to buy him out or trade him for an asset and sommeone elses problem.

  6. I have a question- how desperate is Charles Wang to get RD off his books and conversely if you are an owner is even the addition of Ryan Strome worth taking on that salary?

    • No but dumping 2 small buy outs candidates or 1 for sure and an on the fence contract for one large buy out maybe…. 😉

    • Wang is tight, but you’re also talking about a man who ok’d the deals for DiPietro, Thomas, and is still paying Yashin. Best thing they could do is buy out DiPietro cause with his injury history I don’t see any other team having an interest in him. Again, what the Islanders need is to resign Nabokov, get a veteran forward that has skill and more importantly leadership qualities. I believe the Isles will be able to find this via the buyout route or trade. (someone like Briere – had a rough year due to injuries and continual line changes, but who’s children live in NJ). He is a former captain, has skill and can mentor the younger Islanders and after being bought out, I think he would play for a hometown discount. The Islanders need another strong D-man since they don’t plan on resigning Strait -so maybe doing a trade with St. Louis might fill their needs.

      • There is a man who is thinking…maybe a deal like Briere and pick a small buy out candidates for Ricky, the Flyers take care of 2 people they don’t want on their cap and buy out Rd and still have an amnesty to burn on Bryz next summer if they decide to go that route, I said the same the same thing involving Leaf players but the mechanics are the same in this scenario its the only way Wang will get rid of Ricky, no prospect is worth 24 million dollar buy out but saving a team a buyout just may be the ticket allowing them even more cap flexibility….

    • Strome, Nelson and Nino are not going to the Canucks with DP for Luongo. Not saying you said it but the talk about one of those 3 with DP is silly.

      • The more I think about it the more I doubt the Isles are a fit for Lou… I’m starting to believe he will have to be bought out there are going to many goalies available for anyone to be interested in that contract….

      • DP contract to buy out is 16years at 1.5/yr = 24m (cap geek).
        Honestly I can’t see any team making that trade even for top prospects or sending a bad contract to nyi. That’s a lot of money.

    • Zero chance Isles throw in Strome to get out of DP’s contract. Strome is not going anywhere. The best asset the Isles have is cap space. With Streit, Thomas and Boyes leaving thats another 11million in cap space. There will plenty of teams looking to dump contracts ie: Canucks.

      • I’m thinking if you want to get out of RDs contract there is maybe only a few guys in all the NHL that would be worth buying out a guy for 24 million for and don’t worry Strome ain’t one of em…they way to do it will be picking up other people’s issues bad contracts ect in a multiples and perhaps a pick or something along those lines besides Taveres the Isles have no one worth that kind of investment. Think about it a team who wants lots of cap relief and has 3 buy out candidates sends 2 buy outs who have 2 or 3 years left the total buy out price is say 3 million per player so Charlie is looking at 6 mill sends Ricky the otherway plus a pick team A then buys out Ricky plust their final buy out candidates getting rid of 3 at once plus picking up a pick this is a little bit better of a deal or closer to being worth 24million dollars then a kid currently not playing in the NHL jeesh….

        • There a some very rich teams out there who are worried less about the money then they are about cap flexibility not that money dosent mean anything but in the case of the leafs, in the time they would have to pay RD out of 24 million dollars at 1.5 mill a year they would still make somewhere in the neighborhood of billions of dollars, the Rangers Flyers Canadians same thing these teams would gladly use there financial might to their advantage say having 3 buy outs compared to 2 eventho 1 was a biggie that is the best asset Charlie Wang has to offer…

          • If the Islanders could use one of the players coming back because they have tonnes of cap space even better (Briere for example or a puck moving D like Liles) but they are not going to get offers of a player who is signed to a reasonable contract or a pick or anything of much use and chaces are there will be another bad contract coming along with the guy they might be able to use in the Flyers case say Briere and Meszaros saves the Flyers 10 mill next year Isles buy out Meszaros Ricky and a pick go the otherway Flyers buy out Ricky and Bryz Flyers save 15 mill on the cap plus a pick for buying Ricky out at 24 mill win win

          • How about Dipietro, Neideriter and a pick to TO for Komi and Liles

          • If the Isles were willing to take both those contracts and give up Niederriter I doubt any pick would have to be involved….

  7. I am starting to think that most of the hockey beat writers, no matter if the are US or Canadian based, simply are more fan boys than knowledgable researchers who understand the nuances of Cap and “how things work.” Is the idea to just fill space with unreal scenarios and feed misguide hope in the fan base or approach things with a strong basis for each teams current reality.

    • Bill you are correct. Most of the hockey beat writers are more fan boys and they know less about teams out of their divisions than most fans. Same goes for the TV guys, I watch the Canadian TV guys on Center Ice and their knowledge of southern based teams is laughable. Most know about Leafs and that is about it. If your not in the Toronto area they think you are second class.

      • “Most know about Leafs and that is about it” Close there. Almost correct, they write about the leafs but usually flip flop according to what they believe will give them the most views… It’s sad how they make things sound like they know what they are talking about when they clearly dont and the humble masses bite right in to their BS.

    • Part of the problem – and I’m not really defending them here – is that newspapers are a certain, specific size every day. So writers have to fill those column inches each and every day. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing to write about, their job is to find some way to fill that space.

      So many just float trade scenarios as a way of filling up that space, rather than because they are real.

      It’s not great journalism by any stretch, but it’s also a fault in the system. (and another reason why blogging / online news is better. Right, Lyle? 😉 )

  8. I think any GM that signs Streit for more then 2 years at 5 plus million should lose there job. I know the market s thin and he will attract lots of interest but he is 36. How much more does he really have to give??
    Anyone looking for a decent goalie should give Emery a good look. He has really bounced back and would be a solid addition.

    • I agree H4L. I think Emery is going to be the goaltender to go after this year. I think he gets you the most bang for the buck for what is “available”. I would not mind at all seeing him on my team and his return to the game and his form is quite inspirational. Any room could use that. He may need a solid #2 with him or a 1a 1b situation but a team could thrive with him on the roster.

      • Agree with you guys. I actually think the best move for the Isles is to not sign Nabokov and take a run at Emery instead. The Isles are turning the corner but aren’t “there” yet, Nabokov will have retired by the time they are there, so why not test out Emery and see if he could handle it?

        Plus, he’d help bring some fire & emotion to a good, young team!

  9. “the best option could be the Panthers” Except for the small fact that the Panthers have up and coming goaltender Jacob Markstrom ready to take the number one spot and a reasonable back-up signed in Clemmensen. So why would the Panthers want to bring in a long term high end contract goaltender and be in the same situation Canucks are with Schneider now? The best option for Luongo is Panthers but it is not the best option for Panthers or for a trade. You might as well throw in Tampa Bay as “best option” since Bishop hasn’t proven he can be a number one yet and it is a locale that Luongo likes… Fact: There is not a big demand for Luongo and with his contract there is almost zero demand. If Canucks ownership were smart they would have fired the guy that got them into this goalie situation, Gillis has done bad signings and bad trades but still has a job. Gillis and Sather should start a club for bad GMs with dumb owners.

    • This will never happen but how about
      Van: Luongo, 1st, 2nd and 4th pick
      Flor: marksstrom, and a their 3rd pick
      All picks are this years and Vancouver agrees to payout the last 1 or 2 years of Louie’s contract.
      Van gets another young goalie. Florida takes on some money but get to stack their cupboards in a deep draft year. I hate to tell people lingo won’t be the same goalie by the end of his contract, but marksstrom is still unproven at the NHL level and even is he succeeds for all we now he could be the next raycroft.

      • Ill actually hange the draft picks
        Van: 1st, 3rd and 4th
        Flor: 2nd

        • Flor:2nd and 5th

      • “This will never happen” exactly Dale Tallon is not an idiot, he is not going to trade a top young goaltender, period. So quit the wishful thinking. Luongo has a bad contract and the only team that realistically has a chance for him on the roster next season is Vancouver. If Vancouver buys him out, then I could see Panthers signing him to a low dollar, 2 year contract to mentor Markstrom but that is the only way he ends up in Florida.

    • Only way Luongo goes to Tampa is if they take Lecalvier or Malone and Ohlund in return.

      • Tampa got themselves Bishop, so I don’t see them taking on Luongo’s salary. They could trade Lecavalier to Montreal for someone like Kaberle and buyout or trade Malone. Kaberle is $4M in salary, but comes off the books in 2014 – giving TB some breathing room and cap space the following year. Whereas Lecavalier would be an additional $3.5 in salary, but also give Montreal another veteran presence, skilled center and Quebec native.

      • Ohlund is on injured reserve….

  10. Pretty simple, if VAN wants to dump RL they need to eat some of the salary and quit demanding assets in return. Then everyone can finally move on

    • Exactly especially with Luongo publicly stating that he’s not gonna go through this whole sharade again next year the Nucks will pretty much have to get rid of him for whatever IMO.

  11. Matthew Coller is exactly right about Vanek. He is a Band Aid boy and too one dimensional for the Sabres to afford at this time in their development.

    I can envision moving up in the draft if we include Vanek in a package. I just hope Darcy sees it that way too. He’s more marketable than Miller.

    • BW, I agree – the time to move Vanek is now while his trade value is high. I think Nashville would be good – their #4 for Vanek who gives them the scoring forward they need. Sabres could also throw in someone like Luke Adam or a 3rd rounder to sweeten the deal.

      • Nobody is going to give up a top end pick for a guy that will become a UFA at seasons end.

        • I wonder about a mid first round pick tho….Murray in Ottawa seems to have some kind of magic when it comes to getting what his team needs maybe their first plus a prospect could land them the scoring winger they have been looking for for sometime…Spezza and Vanek seems like it would be a very good combination.

  12. I see Vanek on the Preds. Sabres have the resources to move up and with two higher draft picks in a deep deep draft this could play into our favor. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the Preds are starving for a goal scorer, plus Goose is a good friend of Vanek’s so a good possibility he’d resign with the Predators.

    I can see Miller in St. Louis despite there upcoming salary mark ups in Shattenkirk and Pieterangelo with Miller only having a year left on his contract he’d be a upgrade over Halak and Elliott. Plus with Halak and his arguments with Hitchcock being magnified this past season and post season have me thinking that Halak’s on his way out. Miller IMO will be thrilled to be playing for a contender like St. Louis and the defense they provide and doesn’t hurt that he is closer to his actress wife so he’d resign with the Blues for less than what he’s been making these past few years.

    Common Darcy make something happen please, WE NEED NICHUSKIN IN A SABRES UNIFORM!!!!!!!

  13. @ Jes_SabresFan- I don’t see Miller in St.Louis at all. They got a great young goalie in Jake Allen and I believed he earned some more starts and is a much cheaper option than Miller. Discount or not, St.Louis needs to re-sign both or their young stud d-men.

  14. Puckbubba, add George McFee to the Gillis, Slather bad GM club with stupid owners.

  15. We all know that a team cannot use an amnesty buyout on a player and then resign them to a cheaper contract. But what if the player is traded first? For example: Let’s say that Philly wants to keep Briere and Briere wants to stay in Philly. For the sake of this example we will say the same is true for Luongo and Vancouver. What is stopping Philly from trading Briere to Vancouver for Luongo, having both players bought out by their new teams, and then resigning with their former teams at a much lower cap hit? It may be considered “cap circumvention”, but unless there is something specifically forbading it in the new CBA, it should work.

  16. Lou’s contract stinks and every team knows it. That’s why no one is going to trade for him, and just wait out the process. Vancouver will be forced to buy him out, Lou gets to go wherever he wants, and gillis looks like a fool for not trading him earlier last season. Plus, there is a good chance that he could command a decent salary, as his services would probably be in demand.
    This years compliance buy out period will be a real treat to watch. I bet there are more than a few players who will feel a bit left out, and could drastically change the look of some teams. Good year to be bel

  17. ow the cap

    • I understand that luo’s contract is bad but if a team needing a good starting goalie could get him for a 7th round pick or a minor league player that will not make the NHL; why would you not do it. If he gets bought out by Vancouver he will sign with floida. It would cost a team nothing to get a starting goalie.

      • Or wait till, he is bought out and see if you can get him for nothing at half the price….

  18. Going back a bit I was thinking Detroit or the Rangers as more likely to try the DiPietro buyout gambit. The Cap has been good to both teams on the financial side and in the past both have been willing to make high risk moves. Detroit might buy out Samuelson but his contract is so short and small they could easily use a standard buyout particularity if they think the cap will pop back up. Sather is in NY and what media splash he would get for being the first to ‘circumvent’ the new cap.

  19. Vanek & Miller wont move this summer. Most teams are figuring out ways to lower their own payroll & how many teams NEED an overpriced goaltender before next season.

    • How many teams need a scoring winger like Vanek tho…just about all of em, only thing kinda affecting his value is he is a bit of a rental…