An opinion on Roberto Luongo’s status, and concern over another lockout is affecting the UFA and trade market.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports Roberto Luongo wants to play in Florida whenever NHL play resumes and the Canucks are still asking for more than the Panthers are willing to pay. Simmons expects Luongo will be traded but it remains to be seen if he goes to Florida or Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of late, I’ve read some exhortations from some fans and bloggers for the Canucks to move Luongo now. Quite frankly, there’s no reason to trade Luongo “now”, especially if another lockout is on the horizon. There’s no games being played, and thus no potential awkwardness to disrupt their dressing room. As Simmons noted, at some point the Canucks will move him, and my guess is it could be to Florida if the Canucks are willing to ease up on their asking price.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan observed what little movement there’s been in both the trade and free agent markets, suggesting labor strife could make it more difficult for UFAs like Carlo Colaiacovo, Jason Arnott, Chris Campoli, Dominic Moore, Jaroslav Spacek and Kristian Huselius to land contracts. Koshan also believes it could affect possible trades of Roberto Luongo, Bobby Ryan and Jay Bouwmeester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: August is usually a quiet month in the NHL. The best of the free agents have been signed, most significant trades have been made and the arbitration hearings are over. This year, however, the threat of another lockout is definitely having an effect upon trades and free agency. I’ve definitely noticed a decline in rumors from the mainstream media in recent weeks. If this gets resolved at the last minute, expect a rash of quick signings and possible trades.