Luongo a Leaf after CBA is signed?

Cam Charron
January 05 2013 08:05PM

This is per Sportsnet's Josh Rimer.

To tear away your attention from a thrilling football game between Green Bay and Minnesota, I think it's become known that the collective bargaining agreement is close, if nothing is finalized. It sounds like the NHL really wants to get something going by the middle of the month—January 19th is the apparent start date—so that leaves a minimal amount of time for the Vancouver Canucks to unload their franchise goaltender before then.

Province reporter Jason Botchford pegs it at a 0.0% chance that the Canucks bring back both Luongo and Cory Schneider, which means the team would need to facilitate a trade within the next week, presumably before training camp begins.

I've come to the conclusion that this would not be a prudent deal for the Leafs. While Toronto does need a goaltender, saddling the team with a long contract could be problematic, even if the salary cap rises over the next eight years. Luongo is 33 and signed through 2022. Depending on how amnesty buyouts work, there could be a chance to pull something creative off, but under the current setup, I like the Leafs' chances of waiting until Luongo is bought out by Vancouver prior to making a pitch. There's no sense in giving up an asset that Mike Gillis wants, particularly when the team's prospect cupboard is fairly bare.

A creative solution, for instance, since Vancouver (or another team) would need to exercise more than two compliance buyouts, they could sell off their own assets to a team like the Leafs, who have few buyout candidates. In exchange, the Leafs would effectively be trading future salary cap space for a prospect. The way I see it is that if Vancouver wants to spend three buyouts on David Booth, Keith Ballard and Roberto Luongo, one of those gets packed off to Toronto along with a pick or a prospect in exchange for a depth roster player. Since Toronto is in good shape for the salary cap next year, it looks like it will be slightly over $60M, they have room to buy out a future buyout for pennies on the dollar.

It would depend how the rules work. Apparently Canuck scouts have been taking in a lot of recent Toronto Marlies games. Whether they're looking at Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne or Jake Gardiner, there are a lot of signs to think there's something in play. Burke, for his faults, is a shrewd negotiator who is good at leveraging deals for top talent against desperate teams. If Luongo isn't a major piece, I have to believe that there is at least a trade in the works between the two teams.

Anyway, that's the latest Strombabble. Again, I can't reccomend enough following @taj1944, a Vancouver fan who has a knack for asking the right questions to the right people.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 ryan
January 05 2013, 08:55PM
Trash it!
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Strange conclusion that Luongo is a bad fit for Toronto especially considering your analysis spent a lot of time on the last few years of the contract. Luongo won't be playing those years and Toronto won't be harmed when he retires before the deal is up. There are only six years (including this one) that are material. The rest don't matter. Can Luongo play well as a 37 or 38 year old in the last few years of full salary? That is the question.

Toronto is a great fit for Toronto. Amazing actually. I am not sure the chips Toronto has to play are a great fit for Vancouver.

Vancouver will not be buying out Luongo. They would trade Schneider long before that. It's terrible asset management.

Good luck with Lou. and sorry about Toronto trading yet another first round pick.

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