The NHL Rumor Mill Returns to Life!

Rejoice, NHL trade and free agent rumor fans! The Rumor Mill is alive! It’s alive!! Huzzah! Let the joy bells ring!

Could Luongo soon be wearing a Leafs jersey?

Could Luongo soon be wearing a Leafs jersey?

VANCOUVER SUN: Brad Ziemer claims the Canucks need a”third-line centre, a depth defenceman and probably an experienced backup goalie”, and trading Roberto Luongo could go a long way toward addressing some of those needs, perhaps before the potential January 19th start to the season. Media reports claiming the Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs have a deal in place shipping Luongo to Toronto have been denied by Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Leafs GM Brian Burke. Ziemer suggests Toronto or the Florida Panthers (Luongo’s former team) seem logical landing spots for Luongo. If Gillis does trade Luongo, he’ll have to look at adding a backup via trade or free agency, as Eddie Lack has been sidelined with a nagging groin injury.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie also believed the Maple Leafs and Panthers as possible suitors for Luongo, as well as perhaps the Edmonton Oilers.

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports the Luongo-to-Maple Leafs rumors are gaining momentum, claiming the Leafs and Canucks have had serious trade talks, as Canucks management were spotted scouting Toronto Marlies games last fall. Zeisberger doubts Luongo will be shipped to the Panthers as they’re looking to shed salary, and Luongo was told by Canucks management the Panthers weren’t an option. The Canucks are rumored to be interested in center Tyler Bozak, plus would have interest in “two additional components”, of which Nazem Kadri might be one. A Vancouver source claims Canucks management wish to study the new CBA first before making any decision on Luongo.

Lance Hornby, however, suggests Leafs GM Burke might be having second thoughts about Luongo, wondering if he’d be worthwhile for a shortened season when he likely won’t be in top form. Hornby also suggest Luongo could become an amnesty buyout candidate, which would make him a free agent and thus spare the Leafs having to move assets for him. It’s also possible the Canucks could hang onto Luongo as insurance during this shortened season, then peddle him this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ah, the Luongo trade rumors, the one thing that refused to die during the recent NHL lockout. The overall expectation is the Canucks will trade Luongo in order to shed his salary now, rather than scramble next summer to do so. Still, there is some risk to the Canucks if they do this, not the least of which is finding a suitable backup for Cory Schneider. Luongo has been a good soldier throughout all this, refusing to make waves or create tension over his situation. I daresay he’d be accommodating if the Canucks opt to retain him for one more season. That being said, if there’s a good return to be had, and a team willing to pay it, Gillis could pull the trigger in the coming weeks.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson suggests Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff could become an amnesty buyout candidate this summer. Horcoff has two years at $5.5 million per season remaining on his contract.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jame O’Brien lists the notable unsigned restricted and unrestricted free agents.


  1. Just good to see actual Hockey Talk, instead of “lawyer speak”.

  2. If I were the Leafs, I wouldn’t give up much for Luongo. I’d wait an make them buy him out or ask for a more reasonable offer. There are probably less than 5 teams in the league who both need a starting goalie like Luongo and can afford him.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. The Leafs would be smarter to try and grab Bernier from the Kings. He’s 9 years younger, cheaper, and has more upside. Bernier is a guy you can build your team around. Luongo is a goalie for a team that’s ready to win now. And this is the Leaf’s biggest problem. They want it all now instead of building.

    • Bernier is no more readier than Reimer is with worse stats. Why would they be better off with Bernier than anyone else?

      • @ Ron Moore

        Well, first, I didn’t say Bernier would be better than “anyone else”, just Luongo. Second, Bernier has better stats than Reimer (albeit not by much) last season.

        The assumption is that if they’re going after Luongo, they must think that they have a shot at a cup in the short term (wrong), and that Reimer isn’t the guy.

        But, since reading your post, I looked up Reimer’s stats. He’s better than I thought he was. So I think maybe their best bet is to just stick with Reimer. Either way, getting Luongo is not a good move.

        • I’m not sure they will buy out Lu’s contract as there are a few already in place to be bought out..namely Keith Ballard and David Booth..I see those 2 being shipped out right away hence the need for another centre and depth defensman…Luongo despite his hifgh price tag will fetch a trade wheras the other would’nt..Bozak has a mild upside as a 3 or 4th line centre but thats about it..Kadri has been under alot of scrutiny in T.O. and not handling it very well his play speaks for itself and he has been on the chopping block for awhile…other than that the Leafs have no one anyone would be interested in picking up…

        • JD, to go off your point Bernier does have similar numbers to Reimer , a little better BUT he hasn’t been given the chance at a number 1 position yet unlike Reimer. Bernier wasn’t a former 1st round draft pick and AHL goalie of the year for nothing. I agree that Bernier is a better option than Lou for the Leafs.

        • Also worth considering… clearly no one believes the Leafs are a cup contender. So Reimer achieved his stats with a weak team, while Bernier achieved his with the cup champions.

          Is it not reasonable to blieve Reimer is the real deal, and that the Leafs simply need to improve in front of him?

          Hard to argue that Bernier is our answer when his stats are about the same, but while working behind a much stronger team who has a Norris candidate D-Man.

    • More upside?? Lay off the crack pipe.In what way does Bernier have more upside than Luongo?Do you live in the land of Rand-McNally, where people wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people?

      • Cucumber boy, Ummm are you serious bud? try the fact that he is 9 years younger and has a cap hit of $4 million less than Lou, and is ready to be given a shot at a starting position. Bernier is about 5 years away from entering his prime and Lou is past his prime and signed up for another 9 years. Are those enough reasons for you? Remember JD is not saying that Bernier is better than Lou right this second, but that he has more upside.

        So why don’t you lay off the crack pipe and stop over valueing your teams crap.

    • I love how the same people suggesting that the Leafs should grab quality prospects, picks, and young up-and-comers, are the same people who lambast the team for failing to win now.

      Pick one strategy people!

  3. One would think if Vancouver was going to get rid of Luo, it would be now for at least something in return.

    Although not against the cap, a buy out this summer would be felt in the owner’s pocket, so it doesn’t make sense to me to buyout a movable asset.

    Its not like he’s Gomez or something..

  4. Thank the lucky stars the Rumor Mill is back! Oh, how I have missed you so.

  5. I cannot see Luongo being bought out as he is their most valuable trade piece that they would actually be willing to give up, despite him being of interest to only up to 4 or 5 teams. Buying him out means they lose the salary but get nothing in return, not even a pick. Then as a free agent he gets to potentially bite them in the ass by signing a short term deal with a conference rival like Chicago or Edmonton. If they trade him they partially control his destiny and damage to themselves, lose his contract and get at least something in return.

    Sorry JDBiGC, I do not think Bernier is an upgrade over Reimer, in fact I would say they are equal. And if they are, Bernier will still have to battle for a spot in TO. Bernier wants to be an undisputed number one, and I only see Burke allowing someone like Luongo to take that mantle over Reimer. Anyone else would pop Reimers balloons, and he would lose confidence. I could see Bernier in Chicago, Long Island or Edmonton before Toronto.

    The Leafs do not want to win everything now. They want (and need) to make the playoffs. They need a Luongo while still in his prime for a few years behind the skaters so the team can develop into winners in a few years.

    • I would like to see Luongo stabilizing the nets so the young team in front can build confidence. Personally, I’m sick of Kadri and don’t see him developing even to the level of a Kyle Wellwood. If we can land Luongo for Kadri, one of our goalies, and Bozak (or even better, Connoly), I say let’s get this deal done.

    • Agreed.

  6. Luongo is a top end goalie and if Burke want to remain in TO and make the play-offs. Luongo is his best bet to do that Bernier might be great in 2 years time…maybe. But BB would not be around to appreciate it. Before handing Schneider the #1 role they played him in the big games ir Boston in the Gardens, in Chicago. Bernier it is my impression has been handed the easy games and so it’s tough to get a handle. Some in TO might be looking years down the road but don’t include BB. Luongo can also handle the pressure in a town like TO that’s a big deal. The stumbling block is TO roster is not exactly overflowing with prospects, what do they have that Vcr needs ?

    • Vancouver won’t get much of a return for Luongo as they hold no leverage and fans will ultimately be upset that we “gave him away for nothing” but the rumors I heard were Tyler Bozak, Cody Franson plus a lower level prospect (which may or may not be Kadri as he hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations). Isn’t exactly a plentiful return but when you hold no leverage, something is better than nothing.

  7. lmfao….

    Luongo can handle the pressure….!?!?!

  8. Welcome back, buddy. Game On.

  9. If I was Luongo I would tell the Canucks that he’s not waiving his NTC unless its to to whatever team he wants. Force Vancouver’s hand and make them buy him out at 2/3rds the price and then sign a 4 Million dollar deal where he wants to be.

  10. Don’t trade Kadri he is a game breaker. Very exciting to watch he hits and does creative things. When the game comes down to a shoot out your going to want to have this guy. See how he does under Coach Randy.

  11. I could see Bozak, Franson and a goalie, perhaps Rynnas going for Luongo. Canucks need a short term replacement for Kesler, and Bozak could fill that gap. They need another D man and Franson is from Vancouver. I think one of the reasons they did not sign him yet as an RFA is because they want to use him as part of a Luongo trade, and he may take a lesser contract if he gets to sign with Vancouver and play at home. I like Franson, but it seems Leaf coaching and management has a different view. If Luongo comes to the Leafs, then Lack becomes the backup in Vancouver, which leaves a big hole in their AHL team, so Rynnas could take the AHL slot. Lack is injured right now so maybe Gillis would want Scrivens. Anyway I think a goalie will have to be part of the mix.

    As for Kadri, give him a chance or move him. With no prospect of a true first line centre on the horizon, I suggest moving Grabovski between Kessel and Lupul. While he is a natural #2 centreman, Grabo is their best centreman right now and he can take a pounding. Try Kadri between JVR and Kuliemin, two strong wingers who can make space for his creativity. His real talent is wasted on a third or fourth and he is not a defense first player, so let him do what got him to the big leagues. Or trade him. Just stop messing with his head and the fans patience. McArthur and Frattin centred by Mclement for the third line, Komarov and Brown for the 4th line centred by Steckel. Keep Connolly and Lombardi as your 13th and 14th forwards, they are done after this season, or buy them out and bring up some kids. Personally other than McKegg, Hamilton or Broll, I don’t think anyone else is ready or useful at this point.

  12. As a Jet fan here is a couple trades I would like to see happen; send kane and hainsey to the NY Rangers for Del Zotto and either Stepan or Krieder, this deal would get rid of two of the biggest egos on the jets and perhaps in the league and put them in a big market, gives the Rangers some additional scoring and Hainsey is from the area. Also Rangers have yet to be able to sign Del Zotto so this would git rid of that headache. The second trade would be to try and get Selanne from Anaheim, perhaps the shortened season would be of interest to him coming back to Winnipeg, not sure who you would have to give up, if the deal went through I would make sure I had Scheifle, Telegin and Burmistrov all playing up with the big club to learn as much as they can from Selanne.