January 05 2013 08:05PM
Once a CBA is agreed to and the lockout is over I wonder how long it takes The Maple Leafs to announce that Roberto Luongo is a Leaf?— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) January 6, 2013
@gregthomsonnhl that its done— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) January 6, 2013
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.
- On the Toronto Maple Leafs' spending habits
- Luongo to the Leafs still a possibility?
- Does Tyler Bozak carry trade value?