There may be an NHL lockout, but that hasn’t fully killed off some trade speculation from the blogosphere.
BERGERBYTES.CA: Howard Berger recently reported an Eastern Conference executive believes Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is “poised to make at least one prime acquisition…possibly two”. Berger believes one of those will be Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo, believing the goalie will waive his no-trade clause because the Maple Leafs would provide him the best, perhaps only, chance to remain a number one goalie. Berger dismissed the rumors of the Florida Panthers having interest in Luongo, as the club hasn’t provided a “smidgen of evidence” they’re pursuing Luongo, and are believed high on Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors out of Vancouver and Florida this summer claimed Panthers GM Dale Tallon had interest in Luongo, but was balking at the Canucks high asking price, which was believed to be one or two of the Panthers promising young prospects. Markstrom is considered their goalie of the future, but his stock seems to have dropped a bit since last season, to where there was pre-lockout talk of Markstrom starting this season in the minors.
As for Burke’s pursuit of Luongo, that’s genuine, but once again, it’s the Canucks asking price which is a major stumbling block. The Canucks won’t just give Luongo away, especially to the Leafs, considering the bad blood between Burke and Canucks GM Mike Gillis. It also remains to be seen if Luongo, who’d prefer to return to the Panthers, is willing to accept a trade to Toronto.
BLEACHER REPORT: The Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils are listed as five possible trade destinations for LA Kings Jonathan Bernier.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin under contract for this season, and haven’t expressed any interest in seeking another goalie. The Blackhawks remain determined to stick with Corey Crawford and backup Ray Emery. The Blue Jackets are going with Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason. The Leafs are believed more interested in Luongo than Bernier (see above), and the Devils are going with Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg. Granted, perhaps one or more of those clubs could be in the market for a goalie as the season progresses, but there’s no need for the Kings to rush out and move Bernier. It wouldn’t surprise me if they retain him until the trade deadline at the earliest, or shop him in the off-season.