The latest on Roberto Luongo, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and David Jones.
CBS SPORTS: A rumor making the rounds in the blogosphere this week claimed a deal which would send goaltender Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks to the Toronto Maple Leafs was “90 percent done”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My thanks to everyone who sent this in. Folks, approach any blogosphere-generated rumor with extreme caution, regardless of the supposed success rate of “breaking trades” by the originator. They are not accredited media people, which makes their credibility and sources suspect. According to respected media sources like TSN’s Darren Dreger and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, there’s nothing currently percolating on the Luongo trade front, while the Vancouver pundits (who cover the Canucks for a living) also report the possibility Luongo could return to the Canucks next season.
Yes, it’s possible Luongo could be dealt this month, and yes, it’s possible he could go to Toronto, but a prospective deal involving teams in Canada’s two largest cities and a player of Luongo’s caliber wouldn’t go unnoticed by the media.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance reports on the possibility teams could target the rights to pending free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter later this month in order to gain exclusivity in negotiating with them if their current teams are unable to re-sign them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s been a growing trend in recent years, much more so than offer sheets. Wouldn’t surprise me to see the same happen to Parise and/or Suter if they fail to reach agreements with their current teams on new contracts.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile held constructive talks with pending UFA defenseman Ryan Suter on Thursday, with the two sides slated to meet again next week. Poile seems optimistic about re-signing Suter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Suter would test this summer’s free agent market, but the Predators are committed to re-signing him as well as continuing to build as a Cup contender. It’s by no means a certainty he’ll leave Nashville.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports preliminary contract talks between the Avalanche and pending UFA winger David Jones have begun.