Nikolai Kulemin #41 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is stopped by Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks during NHL action at The Air Canada Centre December 17, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(December 16, 2011 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America)

Sportsnet writer stands by Luongo-to-Toronto statement despite Canucks’ denial

7 Comments

Canucks GM Mike Gillis told Team 1040 in Vancouver that Roberto Luongo’s fate hasn’t been decided — but you didn’t think that’d be the end of the story, did you?

If you’re just joining us, Sportsnet’s John Shannon recently asserted that a trade to send Roberto Luongo to the Toronto Maple Leafs is done. Even after Gillis issued his denial, Shannon isn’t backing down.

“Obviously, neither team confirmed my story, nor should they,” Shannon wrote on Sportsnet. “Quite frankly, without a CBA in place, trades can’t occur, and team officials publicly discussing any player transactions would result in some sort fine from New York.

“However, I have been told that the next time Roberto Luongo plays in the NHL, he will play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is from a reputable source. End of story.”

Shannon doesn’t know who will be heading the Vancouver Canucks way, but the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox reported that Tyler Bozak might be the centerpiece of a Luongo deal.

In Toronto, Bozak has a knack for slipping into the role of top-line center, but that’s because Toronto has lacked top-tier talent up the middle. However, if James van Riemsdyk is able to successfully shift to center, then their first-line center problems could be solved.

If he’s dealt to the Canucks, Bozak would likely slide into the role of third-line center, which is both a position that needs filling in Vancouver and one he’d perform admirably in.

Most importantly, the deal would get Roberto Luongo’s annual cap hit of $5,333,333 through the 2021-22 campaign off Vancouver’s books and give the Toronto Maple Leafs a proven number one goaltender to go along with James Reimer.

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images
1 Comment

With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.02.42 PM
3 Comments

A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

2 Comments

The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

Leave a comment

There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”