NHL Morning Rumor Update – January 11, 2013.

The latest on Roberto Luongo, Ryan O’Reilly, Jonathan Bernier, Petr Sykora and Anton Khudobin.

CBC.CA: Tim Wharnsby reported the dismissal of former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke had nothing to do with a “difference of opinion” regarding a possible acquisition of Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. Wharnsby claimed Burke wanted to make a trade for Luongo. He was upset over reports during the lockout claiming the Leafs and Canucks had a deal already worked out.

New Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis said he won’t hesitate to make a trade if his goaltending fails to impress early in the season. Nonis did, however, suggest there’d be no reason to do so if James Reimer and Ben Scrivens stay healthy and play well.

TSN’s  Darren Dreger reported yesterday via Twitter “Luongo rumor to Toronto won’t fade. Burke wanted him bad and Nonis will push as well, but Canucks insist other teams are in play.”

ESPN BOSTON’s James Murphy reported yesterday via Twitter “Interesting Flyers in Luongo rumors now. Reliable source told me prior to Burke firing they would be 3rd team in a 3-way trade for Lou to TO”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect plenty of Luongo speculation leading up to the start of this season. It remains to be seen, however, if he’ll be moved before then.

Ryan O'Reilly's contract status a concern.

Ryan O’Reilly’s contract status a concern.

DENVER POST; Mike Chambers reports the priority for Colorado Avalanche GM Greg Sherman is to re-sign center Ryan O’Reilly before the start of the season on January 19. Rumors have swirled suggesting O’Reilly could be traded or might play out the season in the KHL. A possible re-signing likely won’t be announced until after the new CBA becomes official.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Denver press (or at least, the Denver Post) have been quite concerned over O’Reilly’s contract status, fearful the Avs might get cheap with him, resulting in a trade or a contract holdout. We’ll find out soon enough if those fears are justified.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lisa Dillman reports the Kings never planned to move goalie Jonathan Bernier, who requested a trade last summer, when it became clear starting goalie Jonathan Quick needed back surgery. Quick has since made a full recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Kings shop Bernier this season, as they might prefer to keep him around as insurance. It’s possible they might move him near the trade deadline if Quick remains healthy, though that could leave them in the market for a suitable backup.

 NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports it’s still possible free agent forward Petr Sykora could return to the New Jersey Devils for this season, though the Washington Capitals might also have some interest in him.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggarty reports Bruins backup Anton Khudobin could give serious consideration to playing in the KHL next season. Khudobin becomes a free agent this summer.

35 Comments

  1. THE KHL POWER PLAY !

    Is the biggest benefactor of this years lockout the ….KHL ???
    I think so …I feel that the NHL by exposing its hardships and false claims that they are loosing money and the fact that they dont want to pay big money to the players is giving more power to the KHL !!!
    With the information that Puttin is willing to give $30 million to 6 players each is dangling a HUGE carrot and setting up a KHL power play ….essentially the KHL is boldly saying if you North American business owners dont want to pay your top NHL players than …..we will ……with more and more quality players coming from Europe it makes more sense for the KHL to get to these players first and offer them double than what they would get in an entry level contract and then biogger money for playing there career there.
    This nonsense that the NHL is the best league in the world is BOGUS …how many NHL players went to Europe or the KHL and stunk out loud in there play …what did half of these so called superstars do there that was off the charts in point production ….most goalies have not played that great , and some players have played poorly in there leagues.

    If the leagues in Europe want to get better and retain talent they should just pay better than the NHL its pretty simple …I can see Kudhobins thought process and some of the other players who will go the KHL route instead !

    Luongo & Leafs

    I think that the new ownership made a GIGANTIC mistake firing Burke at this juncture…its a week before major deals are going to unfold and a season that essentially can go any ones way to win the cup and I mean anyone can win this year ….so with this move new management just lost all the leverage that Burke has been gathering in making any deals …and MLSE looks weaker than they did 4 days ago …they also have made theselves out to look rather powerless and dysfunctional ….when management neded to look bold and powerful to make some big moves on Sunday Monday ……the leafs will now probably have to give up more than they had wanted to for any deal because now it seems thay have to make a deal to save face …..
    Iam so furious at this new management team these guys ar jack asses ….what they owne a NHL team and all of a sudden there geniuses in how to build a NHL Hockey team …Burkjes media fights are because the peopl in the media in Toronto make up shgit and talk stupid just to make a story and Burke knows that …Burk cant take FAKE people and thats what most of the To GTA media writers are ….stupid writers who think they know the inside game of Hockey ….

    New management should be embarressed how this went down Burke tells one guy you know nothing about Hockey please donmt tell me what to do and he gets fired ….PLEASE!!!
    Cant wait to see how these arm chair GMs in new ownership build this team …..this is going to be bad !!!

    New ownership is running a ground and they better keep there hands off or they are going to ruin the Franchise ……I am a Leaf fan and Iam sick of these guys all ready …..word of advise to new ownership keep ypour hands off and give the reigns to a GM with autonomy ….or you will loose your fans …..TRUST ME!!!

    • North American players don’t want to live in Russia, due to the quaility of life. There is a huge diffenence between cities in North America and Russia, man there is a huge difference between most cities in Canada and US. Some players don’t want to sign in Canada because of what they’ll give up for their families in city wise activities.

    • @ backchecking

      Burke/Nonis – Nonis was closing 80% of the trades and signings anyways, so the Leafs have merely done a sidestep here and cleared Burke’s ego from the equation. Dave Nonis’ first move should have been to say “We’re going to roll a grenade into the team and start fresh” because THAT’S what needs to happen in T.O.
      Goaltending is unproven & inconsistent, blueline is shaky at best, wing depth is almost passable with Kessel, Lupul, JVR, etc but they need quality pivots to feed them the puck. Grabovski is not a #1 centre in the NHL.

    • Learn how to spell buddy it is hard to take you seriously whe you spell like a 2yr old

    • too long, did not read.

  2. O’reilly to the Leafs for Franson and a mid to low prospect. Two contract hold outs swap places and teams get what they need

    • A coffee and a donut with that. Dream on.

    • Wow why do leaf fans ALWAYS say such stupid things.
      I’m sure your all not so dumb, but the one’s who post make the rest look bad

  3. @ Big Boss

    good idea …but I think that Franson is better and more valuable in a pacakge of players going for a better asset than O riely … I like Oriely but anymore than a one for one is too much …Franson has been underapprciated as a Leaf and he is better suited on the Power Play with his big hard accurate shot …I dont kknow why for the lif of me that they havent seen this option or his best place on the team …Franson always hits the net with almost every shot from the point where as Phaneuf alwats shoots high on the Powerr play …half the reason why we have such a poor power play …cant hit the net with liles and Phanuef ….this gives noi chance for a rebound and the man infront to score with a scramble and thst where the goals need to come from …Mike Brown in fornt of the net and Franson on the point!
    Pretty simple stuff!!!

    • Franson? For O’Reilly straight up? Ha Ha. Oh yeah, its coming from a Leafs fan.

  4. @ Eddie is the greatest ……I never spoke about Noirth American players …I said European players …and Russain players being attracted to stayin in Euroipe to play for better money than coming here….

    A lot of Europens and Russian players come to play here for the money and then retire to there homeland anyways …so if the money gets better there and that attracys better players that will increase the quality of the game there and can turn into a very high quality league that shells out better cash and less bullshit!

  5. @ Thewes …never said that they had a good team …I dont feel that they do …they need to trade Kessel right away IMO and get a power forward & 1 a prospect and possible draft pick along with other leaf players in a deal and reshape the landscspe I totaly agree !!
    I think by trading Kessel in a package with other quality leaf propects or talent to the right team you can rest with a new Franchise type player if the right deal is there ……just an opinion !!! Kessel will not resign in Toronto in 2 years and he is not a guy who fares well in Leafland despite his great goal scoring ability he best suited on a contending team toi score 50 goals ..I think this should be a serious topic and a move that should happen this season ….I think you can get a TOP player or players and picks back in a right deal that will be beneficial longer term !!

  6. I’d place Bernier to the Devils in the off-season.

  7. REPRISE

    I think that the Jets are having some difficulty with Kane Bogosian and Pavelec ….could there be any interest in sending Kessel Franson Kadri and Reimer to his home province for Pavelec, Kane and Bogosian
    would the Oilers be interested in Kessel Kadri Franson Reimer 2 nd rounder ……Yakupov, Petrel, Paajarvi Khabibulin

    Just throwing it out there …….

    • You must have smoked some bad granola, son.

      or you are a crazy die-hard leaf fan that assumes everyone wants to bend over backwards to get TO’s garbage players.

  8. The KHL stands ready to pay big money to anyone and everyone, of NHL caliber who chooses to play overseas rather than playing in the NHL. While most Canadian kids grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL the KHL is and will continue to be a viable and financially fortuitous option that will become a bigger and bigger stage on which to ply their trade. I am sure that it sees itself becoming NHL Europe when the day comes that expansion heads overseas to traditional European hockey markets instead of the NHL trying to sell the game in southern US cities and having to relocate teams time and time again. Until that day comes it will be stocked with mostly European born players but once a few North American kids opt for the big paydays their agents can negotiate for them and a few big names head over the exodus of talent will slowly start flowing and the NHL will have to absorb it or face the same challenge it faced with the WHA.

    While I agree that Burke’s firing caught everyone by surprise and the timing was strange he was given four years of free rein and apparent total autonomy and was not able to get the Leafs into the playoffs. That in itself would have resulted in most GM’s being fired and should have seen Burke get the pink slip at the end of last year but for whatever reason, when new ownership took control they chose to keep him in place, at least until a couple of days ago. Something as yet undevulged was the straw that broke new ownership’s back when it came to having Brian Burke as the frontman for the Leafs and what that was we can only speculate but suffice it to say, it was something big enough to make ownership firing him at an inoctuous time.
    What I believe they have now is “Burkie Light” in the person of Dave Nonis. Nonis has been mentored by Burke for many years and patiently learned his trade at the feet of someone he looked up to. While neither of them saw the passing of the GM torch unfolding as it did, it would have and was meant to have happened down the road anyway. Nonis has all of the atributes of Brian Burke without any of the bombasticness. More like a Muhammed Ali next to a Mike Tyson. He remains calm, cool and collected when facing an antagonistic media person or scrum rather than going postal on one or all of them. He is respected by his peers and has not made any enemies or burned relationship bridges and so can in effect, reach out or be reached to talk trades with any other GM, even Kevin Lowe if need be.
    Nonis, who I believe has enormous integrity, will not be a puppet for ownership and will be his own man. He will demand ownership keep their distance and allow him to do his job. But rather than telling the owners to keep their noses out of his business he will get that message across differently than Burke did by using finess and tact. (The definition of tact it has been said, was telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they enjoyed getting the message and were looking forward to the trip.)
    I believe you will see business as usual with the Leafs with Carlyle continuing as coach and any trades, even if it is a Luongo trade, made in the best interest of the Leafs as it has been throughout the Burke years and the new GM doing his GM thing, but with much less media wars while still being criticized by Don Cherry for not having enough GTA players on the team.

    • There is a reason your name is capitan. I agree whole heartily with your comments. Nonis will stick to the Burke/Nonis blue print and Nonis can contact any GM without the past bitching of Burke playing a factor. Rogers and Bell media got rid of a guy who hated the media and did everything in his power to prove he hated them. Not a good fit for an ownership group that is all media related.

      Hey Capitan, the straw that broke the camels back could have came last year around Christmas after the deal was announced by Rogers and Bell to buy MLSE but before they took over. Remember when Burke and Wilson stuck it to the media, when Wilson tweeted his new contract extention weeks after it was actually signed thereby screwing TSN and Sportsnet out of a huge sports story at the time. I remember thinking at the time how pissed TSN and Sportnet were and how disrespectful it was to the sports TV and radio stations that cover the Leafs in a town that is Leaf crazy. Who says Rogers and Bell don’t carry a grudge.

      • The new contract for Wilson being announced by Wilson was once again a strange turn of events. In fact it was seen by some as a Golden Parachute for the coach, who was also Burke’s good friend, and who Burke probably new at the time he was going to have to fire in the very near future. Burke’s and also Wilson’s media relations skills were severely lacking and they never kindled any kind of decent relationship with the Toronto TV media, the print media or any other media for that matter. Nonis, to his credit, was always available in Vancouver and developed a good rapport with the media and I am sure the same thing will happen in Toronto.

        It is rumoured (where would we be without rumours?) that Nonis has been the one who has done the heavy lifting when it comes to the possible Luongo trade, so if that trade becomes a reality nothing regarding the firing of Burke should have any negative impact on who is included in the deal..
        It is also, once again as was rumoured, that the pieces are already in place for the Luongo to Toronto trade and if so it won’t make one iota of difference if it is Nonis who is the GM.
        Until the players ratify the new CBA, which I believe will be by late Saturday or early Sunday, there can’t be any trades but once the new contract comes into effect you may see a flurry of moves in the next week or so as teams will be wanting to get out of the gate as quickly as possible.

  9. I’m not saying Luongo won’t be moved, but it won’t happen until the end of the season. Two reasons. The first is the obvious, his monster contract, two in a shortened season that would be the stupidiest trade a Gm could make. As it would send a message to the fans,that just went thru a four month lockout, we are throwing in the towel and won’t make the playoffs, but will be back next season. I doubt that Gillis or Nonis would want to do that. Why would the Canucks ownership put in peril a possible chance to make an another cup run ?

    I doubt a major trade will happen in this shortened season. There will be trades, but most likely to address missing elements, due to injuries or just to add depth.

  10. I mentioned it in the News section of this site a couple of days ago, but the ever-increasing whispers are that Burke was not fired for any hockey-related matter, and instead for what can euphemistically be called a “personal issue”.

    So (provided that those rumours are true), like or hate him as a GM, he wasn’t going to stay – regardless of any hockey-related factor.

    That said, I think Nonis is a better GM, anyway (I’m not a Leafs fan, mind you)

  11. Oh Chris/slap and shot/backchecking…

    Getting rid of Burke while strange timing was the right move. The guys an egomaniac douchebag. He’s not well liked around the league and always thinks he knows best and no one ever better do something he doesn’t like. Aka Brayden schenn, Penner offer sheet. Burning bridges with other gm’s is never a good idea.

    Oh and some armchair gm’s do have good proposals or do maybe know what they are doing. Burke is well garbage… Anyways

    The reason so many North American players have issues overseas is just like the European players that have issues in NA. Different language, culture, everything… The NHL is still the best league and players want to compete against the best. Late in their careers they might do a jagr, but I don’t see any mass exodus. Before that happens I think you’ll see a decline of guys like yakupov coming over in junior to learn and play.

  12. @ Icebear ..WOW! pretty rough talk for someone who doesnt know the guy!!!
    He did pretty good with most tradeds and running the club after his son died tragicaly more than I can say I would be able to do if god forbid I lost one of my children ..I think you tone is way over the top personaly……

    He made some very poor decisions …but he had to build a farm team and an NHL club at the same time and also run the company …..and for the most part ….his players failed him …he brought in qulaity talent it just didnt rise to the top ….Seguin will never score the goals Kessel has and he al;lready isnt ..Dougie Hamilton will not be in the NHL very long either hes a poor skater IMO and isnt big enough or fast enough to play against the highest skilled guys …..so in the short term that was a good move , The marlies almost won th AHL last year thats ALL BURKEs team …in time that will translate into the Big Leagues as it usually does … his job was harder than you make it out to be ….but in the end I dont like alot of the moves he made when he could have improved the team even if it meant going against his own beliefs and thats where it went wrong ….he was just to slow and to loyal when having to really make the impact move !!!
    Have to remeber he had nothing to work with in the minors to draw from on his arrival to even help the club at any point and literaly rebuilt the organsization from the ground up !!!

    LITERALY !!!

    • I don’t disagree that he had a hard job. I just don’t think he did a good job.

      I think you are likely one of very very few who thinks kessel for seguin, hamilton and Jared knight was a good trade. I’d rather have just seguin than kessel personally.

      Kessel is a very one dimensional player, and is a soft perimeter player.

      Oh and from one of your other posts, the kessel+ for malkin+ never ever gonna happen. Absolutely horrible trade.

      I do however agree that Calgary should trade iggy and possibly kipper if they can at the deadline. Iggy would be a great rental for the playoffs, and could always resign in Calgary in the offseason, thus finishing his career there, mentoring any young players and helpin the flames out. We will see tho.

  13. @ Ice bear

    I posted last year after trade deadlin and the draft when Burke went unheard from that he really let a good opprtunity go by when the Leafs could have piked up some quality players even with the bad contracts that came along with them ……Iam not nor will I dispute that …..what was wrong with this firing is that on a BIG business level and days before teams are going to make big moves or multiple moves …..MLSE played there hand way to pre maturely …..they just told the rest of the league that they are desperate to make a big move …they gave up there leverage in any deal they had on the table ….WHY ??? Because now even more then before 3 days ago …the Leafs really need to make a deal …….and a BIG deal ….and now every GM knows that ….so where as when you are in negotiations …you play close to vest ….now the deal or deals that were on the table are more negotiable by other teams …and now they smell blood in the water …and will be asking for more in a trade then maybe what was previously discussed and that means its more of a possibilty that the Leafs have to give up more younger talent in a deal then had been discussed in the deals …..weather or not you want to Fire Burke you should have or had to do it after Sunday or Monday when the deals were made then do it now they may be in trouble when trying to make the deals with what they had offered before ..this is a big mistake and wasnt thought out properly by NON HOCKEY guys !!!!

  14. @ Icebear

    Just for the record I did not say Kessel for Malkin ….it was a much broader deal than that ….it just seems that Malkin is a better player when Crosby is not around and he would be a great Franchise player on another team ….Crosby has never had anyone to play with so far in his career and a guy like kessel would put them both at the top of 50 goals for sure and that could be a leathal combo they are both 24 – 25 years old WOW!!!!
    Pitt would also get some youth in the deal as well sending kadri and a young good Defensman that way.

    Its just a scenario that would be good to explore, another scenario that the leafs should explore IMO is with the Jets ….Kane is on the outs a little ,Pavelec has a DUI he is dealing with coming back and Bogosian is looking for a long term deal …..I truly think there is a deal to be made here with the Leafs.

    Many Jets fans are closet leaf fans as they have to be so this would benefit both clubs …..I good swap would be :

    Kessel , Kadri , Reimer , Gunnarson A second rounder and Komisarek or Connolly for cap space and help Jets to the floor ……for Bogosian , Kane , Pavelec and a prospect …

    Jets have 13 players next year either UFA or RFA thats unreal ….they may be looking to retool a bit so a deal here could happen…it will also give the Jets great money for a very deep UFA off season !

    • Ya hence the Kessel + for malkin +

      But it won’t happen. Ever. Pittsburgh as you obviously don’t know have a great stockpile of defensive prospects and are still set at center with Brandon sutter now on board (staal trade) and also have some other potential wingers coming up too.

      Kessel and Crosby would not be good together IMHO. Crosby needs guys who can also go into corners which sure isn’t Phil the floater kessel.

      And firing Burke didn’t ruin anything for Toronto. It probably opened up doors as he is hard to deal with, and nonis was the right hand man. You think he hasn’t been in on everything that Burke may have been doing?

      Give your head a shake.

  15. You leafs fans are hilarious. You completely overrate your players and come up with the most ridiculous trades.

    First off, since when did Malkin ever say he wants his own team? I hear back checking say this everyday yet there is nothing to it. Since when would Pittsburgh ever trade the MVP for your table scraps? The Pens already have a good winter, his name is James Neal.

    Secondly, the Winnipeg off is ludicrous. Kane is going to be a true power forward. Bogosian is a high end defenseman. Pavelec is better than any of your goalies. And you want to offer Kadri who can’t evens me your pitiful roster, Franson so can’t make it either, Connolly who is injured all the time and Komisarej who is a sixth defenseman and has a horrible contract for winnipegs best 3 players. Kessel is your only good player and he’s not highly coveted by anyone.

    What planet do you guys live on?

    • I agree, this guy must be on cloud nine. You should’ve seen his Oilers proposal.

  16. Sorry for all the typos. Damn auto correct.

  17. I think Nonis needs to wait and draft a Franchise player. The best way to make a splash for new GM is to wait and draft a franchise player. Why trade for Luongo? I mean he is a good goalie but his contract is a killer and he may cost a leg and an arm. Unless Leafs can trade him for cheap..

  18. I think it is worth picking up Luongo. If it is for Kadri, Bozak and Franson. They are all replaceable pieces. Except for one.

    Unless the Leafs somehow magically find a team willing to give up a number one centre (like Getzlaf), Bozak is still the best fit between Kessel and Lupul. The only team i see with enough depth or potential at centre in a high level role, who might be willing to deal, are Colorado, with Duchene, O’Reilly and Stastny. And even then the jury is out that anyone but Duchene are an upgrade over what Bozak achieved last season. Would love to see what Joe Thornton could do between Lupul and Kessel. A bit older but still racks up the points (59 Assists!)

  19. First of all Loserlongo is the biggest LOSER ever to mentioned amongst the elite. Name me another elite goalie the has been pulled from the stanley cup playoffs as much as this loser. He simply cracks under the pressure. I don’t care about his regular season wins – he was playing behind a perennial presidents trophy threat and won games that didn’t count. True champions win when it counts. Put this loser in from of the loserleafs defense and see what happens.

    Secondly, as a former loserleaf fan you people kill me. You make it easier and easier to distance myself from that loser organization every day by reading your posts and player evaluations. Its truly sad

  20. So Ken, what do you think they should do ?

    Stick with Reimer and Scrivens and hope for the best, or go after one of the 28 other starting goalies in the league who are completely unavailable. Maybe they should ask Brodeur to come to Toronto just because. Luongo has another 5 years of good hockey in him, and if he can help Reimer along the way (if he is the guy), then its a good move. Otherwise the fact is that Luongo is the best goalie out there who is currently available. You say Luongo is such a loser but how many other goalies won the presidents trophy twice and made it to the SF finals in the last 3 years. Get real.

    • He has 10 years on his contract. That leaves 5 years of his contract (4 of which he wont even play as he’ll be retired) with a 5M+ cap hit. Ya brilliant idea!

      If he were the final piece of the puzzle to hoist the cup than fine it might be worth the future cost. However the loserleafs need way more than just a goalie.

      Once again, another disillusion, short sighted leaf fan willing to sacrifice the future for more mediocre results.

      Give your head a shake – go with Reimer and get another lottery pick. Rebuild the team properly. See the Edmonton Oilers.

  21. Why are Leafs fans trying to unload Phil Kessel? Likes crypes man, looking at that team, he’s the last player I’d unload. What power forward are you going to get that makes up for Kessel’s rocket skates? The reason Toronto’s offense was shut down last season is because the team itself stopped letting Kessel and Grabovski use their speed and stopped playing a good transitional game.

    The Leafs should look to getting blue line help where players are capable of making great first passes out of the zone. If Gardiner does this, then problem solved. Now you can unleash Toronto’s hounds again.