NHL Morning Rumor Mill – May 31, 2013.

Could the NY Islanders acquire Roberto Luongo? Could Brad Richards return to the Tampa Bay Lightning?  Could the Red Wings target a couple of Blackhawks via free agency? Will the Capitals trade Jeff Schultz? Read on for the latest!

Could Roberto Luongo return to the Islanders?

Could Roberto Luongo return to the Islanders?

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cites a series of tweets from TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggesting the New York Islanders might be interested in acquiring Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo “under the right circumstances”.  McKenzie believes it first depends upon the cost to the Islanders of re-signing Evgeni Nabokov.  Landing Luongo would almost certainly mean the Canucks would have to take Rick DiPietro as part of the return, after which the Canucks would make him a compliance buyout, as he’d be cheaper (by a few  thousand per season over three less seasons) to buy out than Luongo.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford weighed in on the possibility, noting other clubs expressed interest in Luongo “under the right circumstances” but he’s still with the Canucks. He also noted the Canucks ownership might be reluctant to invest in a compliance buyout for such a lengthy period (16 years), though taking a bad contract like DiPietro’s back for Luongo and buying it out might be the only way to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks do appear in a bind over how to move Luongo’s contract. The Leafs wanted them to pick up part of his remaining salary during their talks at the trade deadline but GM Mike Gillis refused. He won’t have much choice this summer. If Gillis were to seriously entertain a Luongo-for-DiPietro swap, the Isles would have to throw in a good young forward as part of the return, and Gillis would have to sell ownership on the sense of buying out DiPietro. Gillis will have to be creative to move Luongo this summer via trade. Taking a bad contract back in return plus getting a good young player in return might be the best way to achieve this, but it remains to be seen if it’ll be with the Islanders and DiPietro.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tom Jones wonders if the Lightning might have interest in bringing back Brad Richards if he’s bought out this summer by the NY Rangers, as they would then get him for a discount price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One problem is the Lightning currently have only $3.32 million of projected available cap space and six roster spots to fill for next season. They need to bolster their depth on defense and checking lines. They will get over $3.6 million in cap relief by placing Mattias Ohlund on long-term injury reserve, but that doesn’t mean they can still afford to sign Richards and have room to bolster their defensive depth. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan suggests Chicago Blackhawks pending UFA forward Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg could be of interest to the Detroit Red Wings. He also reports the Wings would like to re-sign Valtteri Filppula but not for $5 million per season, and with young forwards coming up, wondered if they’ll have room to retain Daniel Cleary. He also doubts Ian White will be re-signed.

WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz requested a trade back in mid-March and would prefer to move on to a club where he’ll see more consistent playing time. Schultz has one season remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $2.75 million. Schultz’s agent said teams have expressed interest in his client and expressed confidence there is a market for the blueliner.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley listed Schultz among his suggested compliance buyout options for the Capitals, along with forwards Martin Erat and Joel Ward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Schultz would certainly help the Capitals to free up some much-needed cap space, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s moved during the entry draft weekend. 


  1. I would think the Buds would be in the bidding for Richards if he gets bought out. It’s not like they don’t need a top line center. If they trade or buy out Grabo I would think they will take a stab at Richards if the price is right.

    • Agreed, but to be honest I don’t see NYR buying out Richards, especially now that they fired Torts (he’ll get all the blame I’m sure).
      However if he does get bought out, you think they would re-sign Bozak, cut Grabo and go after Richards? Or keep Grabo, sign Richards and let Bozak walk?

      • I would agree with you on the Rangers keeping Richards now that Torts is gone, but the Rangers find themselves in the position where they need to resign Stepan, McDonagh, Haglin, Zuccarello and Gilroy and with the salary cap being lowered – they need to free up some $. Easiest way would be to buyout or trade Richards which would also free up $ to resign the King. If he is bought out, there are a lot of teams that could use him – I think the Islanders would be a great match.

      • Grabo would hsvet go go aswell….

      • Depending on the price for Richards and if they can trade Grabo instead of buying him out that’s what will determine Bozaks fate.

        • For some reason I can’t see Grabo (bought out or traded some how) or Bozak (walks or I should say runs for a boat load of cash and long term deal) in a Leaf jersey next year…maybe I’m just hopeful…I want a decent center that is paid somewhat what he’s worth (Boyd Gordon) and a true number 1….

  2. How does “might be interested” “under the right circumstances” constitute a trade rumor? I’m pretty sure 29 teams in the league “might be interested” in Luongo “under the right circumstances”; circumstances being Luongo playing better than their current goalie and coming at a $1-million price tags.

  3. if Wash buys out Erat after giving up Forsberg as compensation then McPhee needs to go. It’s not contacts like Ward’s that is putting the team in a bad financial spot, sure he is overpaid as a grinder but OV @9+ , Backstrom & Green @6+ are the contracts hurting this team

    I agree with BG , Richards would be a good add for the Leafs if the price and term are right

    Can you imagine the reaction in Vancouver if Luongo gets moved and DiPietro is involved? I’d have to assume someone like Okposo would also be involved coming the other way in that deal. Pretty ugly trading one bad contract for the worst all time . Gillis must have serious anxiety over this Luongo saga.
    Stil anxious to see how Gillis cleans up the cap mess in Vancouver.

    • I agree totally with Fergy22. Surely the Caps’ owner won’t allow McPhee to buyout Erat’s contract. Erat is still a solid player for one thing and his arrival was part of Washington’s turnaround this year.
      As for Brad Richards, there will be many teams ready to pick him up at a reduced salary. Do you think he won’t come to camp in the best shape of his life and ready to show the world that he can still play? Some team will get lucky with Richards and they’ll have John Tortorella to thank.
      Is the NHL strange or what? Meanwhile in Phoenix………..

      • With Torts gone I wouldn’t be surprised with the Rangers give Richards one more chance somehow…

    • I still think a trade involving Richards for Grabovski could work for the Leafs and give the Rangers some flexibility…worst case scenario is that they buy him (Grabovski) out at a lesser amount than Richards.

      • This trade will never happen. The Leafs are stuck with Grabo. Richards has no interest for TO.

    • No way are any current roster players going the other way. The Isles might be dumb enough to take on another bad contract but not so dumb to send a very good player the other way. I find this whole rumor a bit nutty.

      • I think the Isles learned their lesson already about lengthy contracts. I would be very surprised if they shoot themselves in the foot again for nine more years.
        I file this “rumour” under summer boredom.

      • Agreed, why would the Isles add a roster player. If the Canucks can’t trade Lou they will have to buy him out. Better to buy out a smaller contract.

  4. I think Ansar Khan doesn’t understand “staying home” to going outside for player help.
    Wouldn’t Cleary be their first priority, if they feel Fillpula has out-priced himself? Bickell has already said he wants to stay IF Stan Bowman can make the numbers work, at about 2.7-3 mil with the Hawks getting ahomeyown discount over the outside market if it stays in that range.
    Stalberg will probably walk, but teams better look close at exactly WHAT they are buying before paying out dollars that teams earmark for solid third liners.

    Even funnier is the assumption that “someone like Okposo would also be involved coming the other way” for Luongo. Okposo isn’t on the table but if he was they could get help elsewhere that wouldn’t involve a giant Cap hit until infinity that Luongo’s aquisition requires. If Luongo is free, they find some takers, but the shrunken cap isn’t going to help the return any…

    • Thomas becomes UFA this summer if they didn’t sign Nabby and could find some way of sending Ricky D the otherway say with a pick or prospect, Lous contract is not even really an issue…that is why I can kinda see this working out, Gillis picks something up gets a shorter. Cheaper buy out Isles get solid goaltending and reach the cap floor by actually. Paying players that are on the ice and instantly become one of the better teams in the east….there could be a deal here but to get it done I think it would take a Lil more then okposso maybe him plus a pick or prospect…

  5. Bill , you really think Vancouver is going to accept DiPietro’s contract for Luongo without something to sweeten the pot? Vancouver is getting a goalie they will buyout while the Isles get a goalie who will play ( mind you not a contract that many GM’s want )

    • I agree that there has to be something else…maybe a guy like Niederreiter that needs a new start somewhere else, but has a big upside. And for the Islanders, they get an upgrade in net with a young team that will be in the playoff hunt for many years to come.

      • Maybe on to something there Okposso Niederriter RickyD for Lou….

    • No I do NOT.

      I don’t think the canucks would take that contract, period. There is far too many changes needed to carry an “exchange” that high. I point to the Blackhawks cutting ties with carrier defenseman Brian campbell a 7 mil long term deal…they took back a guy THEY NEVER expected to see in their line-up Olesz, and there was no “pot sweetener.”
      Giving a quality player in Okposo for Luongo straight up would be MORE than any team offers Canucks for Luongo. You are not gonna find teams over-paying for lou…because they didn’t before and will not in the future as the attempt to set the market failed and now Gillis is in the unenviable position of a “must-launch” and real soon.
      Maybe some team will give a higher draft pick, maybe even a second since the first third of the second round is like the middle of the first round of most other drafts in the last couple….

      • You are looking at it all wrong I’m not saying they deal is going to happen but if both teams have high priced goalie contracts to buy out one can play. The other not so much there could be a way to work it out that both teams can assess some of their needs and save some face on these ridiculious terms Gillis could say ya I still had to use a buy out but I. Got a couple young prospects or 1and a pick out of it the Isles could get to the cap Floor solidify goaltending as their goalie prospects for the next while Are a Lil slim plus they don’t have to buy out Ricky D. (That alone would cost a very good prospect) and let’s not forget Lous deal is stupid long but he is a proven goalie unlike Bernier and the rest not really over priced per year with him in net and a couple minor me ves to get a little deeper theIsles not ony become a playoff lock (for the next couple years) they might make some noise when they get there

        • Everyone saying they should just buy these guys out like it’s an Easy choice to drop millions of dollars for nothing are forgetting that the owners didn’t get rich by dropping millions of dollars on bad business deals…. If there is away to get any value out of these guys they will amnesty or not…

      • Wiz you need to get that keyboard checked out , the CAPS lock seems to be sticking

  6. Luongo to the isles sonds like nothing more than leverage against nabakov in contract negotiations. I just don’t see as how it makes any sense for New York.

    I wonder if Edmonton would be interested on another Schultz. They could use a big stalwart defender like Jeff Schultz.

    • This would be awesome. A d-corps that is 50% Schultz!

      • Also bring Dave “the hammer” Schultz out of the retirement home and sign up
        Sargent “I know nothing” Schultz as coach and it would drive the Oilers Announcer nuts by Christmas.

  7. I agree with fergy. If I’m the NYI would give up one or even two prospects to get rid of dipietros contract. Luongos bad contract or not is still a good goalie and will play a few more years in the nhl. I’m not an Islanders fan but if Garth Snow pulls this off will make him look like a genius.

    • I think the Islanders will just buyout DiPietro and resign Nabokov. From what I understand Nabokov is pretty happy in LI and the Islanders need to start grooming their future. They could also sign Bernier or Emery. Personally, I think Vancouver is going to have to dig themselves out of their own hole and do both themself and Luongo a favor by buying him out. Islanders have been improving over the past few years and getting another “scorer” would really solidify their ability to contend for the cup. There will be a number of buyouts available at more reasonable prices but another option would be to sign someone like Ribero to a 3-5 year deal.

      • This makes more sense.

        • K well you buy out Ricky at 1.5 mill then add Emrery (slight raise) 2mill + Nabby (slight haircut) 2 mill granted all shorter term but still lots of goaltending questions @ a cost of 5.5 mill….Luongo cap hit 5.3 if he plays strong for anotber4 years or so HRR will probably be above where it is now and his contract isn’t an issue and as I said no goaltending issues good team guy. From Gillis stand point paying Ricky Ds buyout 1.5 cheaper then Lous plus he gets a pick and a prospect or a couple prospects win win…..

  8. My initial thought was that now that Torts was gone you give Richards another year in New York, but after looking at Cap Geek the Rangers look they need to free up cash in a bad way. The only lucky part is that Stepan, Hagelin and Zuccarello are all restricted so they might be able to retain them a little cheaper. I imagine they will each be asking for somewhere between 2-4 million. Also they probably would like to retain Clowe after giving away picks.

    The Rangers really need someone to take his full contrat away not just buyout.

    Brassard with a 3.2 mill might be a trade candidate if he is in a 3rd line role.

    • Brandon, I really liked the skill and chemistry that Brassard brought with him from Columbus. The following year Callahan, Boyle, Del Zatto, Girardi and Stralman will also need to be resigned – so cutting loose Richards will give the Rangers a little breathing room to resign their most important pieces may prior to 2014-15. I am a Sabre and Shark fan and would love to get Brassard. Along those lines, I would rather have Brassard than resign Clowe who really didn’t bring much to the table at $3.6M.

    • The best bet is for the Rangers to trade Richards for a cheaper compliance buy-out option with less years + a prospect/pick. If Sather can pull this off it would be a bonus. There are no more Bob Gaineys out there to take on a horrible contract outright. For those that cannot see this please look up “the Luongo situation”. Still a stud goalie but with a horrific contract length.

  9. okay stop people.. just stop. Luongo is Untradeable. it is NOT going to happen. He WILL be bought out as the nucks have NO other option, they aren’t bringing him back. i do find it very interesting that NYI is mentioned as a spot for him. NYI took major steps this year and if they sign Luongo after his buyout, they’ll be a fun team to watch next year.

    • Not unreadable, really I think it’s just Gillis and his demands that have screwed up things if Gillis would have held some salary or not demanded the moon and stars for Lou and his stupid contract he would have been dealt already, I thinkers much harder to move him now with the guys that are going to be UFA in a month but if he would have been more reasonable at the beginning of last summer or moved Lou before he gave Schnider the extension and not painted himself in a corner and giving every other GM in the league a sign of weakness from a bargaining stand point Lou would have been playing elsewhere this year…

      • The only thing that has made Lou so difficult to move is Gillis….

    • Makes more sense for the Islanders to just buyout RD, I think teams are going to try and make Gillis sweat, force him to buy Luongo out. Islanders need to add pieces not remove them giving up on a player like KO is stupid

  10. I also think Torts gets blamed for the Richards situation, but still don’t see how the numbers can work for the Rangers with Richards’ contract. It’ll be interesting at the buyout period, for sure.

    My opinion, though? Anyone who gets a compliance buyout and re-signs elsewhere should really be giving that new salary to the players’ pension fund – or charity, or whatever!

    Look at Scott Gomez as a prime example: does anyone think he really earned a *raise* over his horrible contract? Because that’s what he got last year, after joining the Sharks. 100% of his Habs money, plus about 10% more from San Jose.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to keep his old contract dollars (fair is fair, he AND the team signed that contract) and give any additional money he makes from a new team to a good cause??

    • I thought the buy out was only 2/3rds of the salary not 100%?

  11. Luongo controls his own future here, is he is smart he will just refuse to be dealt to anywhere but Florida, wait for the Canucks to buy him out and then sign a reasonable contract with the Panthers.

    I don’t see the Islanders going after Luongo in earnest, as I think Nabakov is their priority and possibly splitting time with Emery if they can land him via the UFA and then buyout DiPeitro.

    Richards is likely to stay in New York unless the cap space becomes that dire and then there will be a bevy of teams who will want to sign him and none of those will sign him at “the right price”. Sure Richards would look good in Toronto, but they are fine offensively, what they need is a big minute eating defenseman. I wonder if they can land a player similar to what Ottawa got in Marc Methot?

    I get this strange feeling that the Ottawa Senators may take out a flyer on Michael Ryder, they said they are looking for a veteran scorer and they never seem to commit real assets. Via free agency, Ryder, Iginla, Clarkson, & Dupuis are the only real targets unless some compliance buyout dump so other guys onto the market.

    • Ottawa may be looking for 2 wingers to play with Spezza. I get the feeling that Michalek’s knee may keep him out for a while . Ryder and Spezza would work if they had someone sturdy to do the mucking. Ottawa is going towards the Bruins model , 4 lines that can play minutes.

      • I’m not so sure Ottawa would be the desperate with guys like Zibanejad and Silfverburg at their disposal. Silfverburg is easily a guy that Spezza could turn into a 40 goal scorer.

        • Really, I must have watched someone different then. Silfverburg will be a good player for the Sens but, 40 goals?

  12. Clowe wouldn’t be a bad a mucker alongside Speeza and a skilled winger. It’ll be interesting to see how much Clarkson and Clowe get on the open market with a declining cap. 4-5 mill per?

  13. “I don’t see the Islanders going after Luongo in earnest, as I think Nabakov is their priority and possibly splitting time with Emery if they can land him via the UFA and then buyout DiPeitro”.

    This will be very close to the route Snow will take.

    • Hmm I’m not so sure about Nabby and I doubt Lou, just saying it could be plausible I guess. Nabby isn’t what he used for other be and looked very inconsistent in the playoffs, to take the next step the Isles will need some better goaltending with the UFA and possible buyouts available this year I can see Snow moving on from Nabby…

  14. Lounge for diepetro ….didn’t the islanders trade prospect Luongo in a deal with Florida to get the pick to select Diepetro?

  15. Could vancouver trade luongo, edler and 1st (24 overall) to move up in the draft (without keeping part of luo’s contract). Edler is a good defenseman.
    I understand luongo’s contact is long but I think he will play it out. Its not like he has had injury problems like DiPietro. Luongo has a lot to prove to the people who have tossed him under the bus. He’s a very good goalie. His cap hit is right there with other proven starting goalies. His biggest knock on him is that he didn’t win the cup but really his team didn’t score or play defence because they got scared of the big bad bruins.
    If van can’t trade luo then fire the GM and trade Schneider and get some one to improve the team.

  16. after reading all the vancouver comments i’ll put my idea out there. how about the iles wait for lou to get bought out then go after him. it is going to happen, just wait it out. unless they try and trade schnieder