Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider

How much would Luongo be worth on the trade market?


Regardless of how the playoffs end for the Canucks, things could get messy in Vancouver. With a big win in Game 4 on Wednesday, Cory Schneider has once again proved that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender – and he will probably get that chance in 2012-13.

Schneider will be a restricted free agent this summer and he deserves a big raise from his current $900,000 salary.

That means Vancouver’s cap hit spent on goaltenders is about to get ridiculous unless they part ways with one of their goaltenders.

At this point, it seems far more likely that Vancouver will attempt to trade Roberto Luongo, but obviously that comes with a few problems. His $5,333,333 annual cap hit is on the high-end for an aging goaltender, especially one that is signed through 2021-22.

He also has a no-trade clause, and while he’s probably not going to force the Canucks to keep him, he might tie their hands by limiting the number of teams he’s willing to go to. Add that to the fact that, as good as Luongo is, the number of teams in the market for a starting goaltender is usually shallow these days – as Tomas Vokoun and Evgeni Nabokov found out when they tried to find work as unrestricted free agents in recent summers.

Even the younger, much more affordable, Jaroslav Halak, coming off a year where he led the eighth place Montreal Canadiens all the way to the Eastern Conference finals only netted his team Lars Eller and Ian Schultz when Montreal shopped him that summer.

That all said, Luongo is still a good, established starter and he’s likely to attract some attention. You look at a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs or Tampa Bay Lightning and have to think there’s potential there.

So yes, Luongo is tradable, but if Vancouver decides to go that route, will they get a king’s ransom for him? Probably not.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?