Don Cherry

Cherry: Why would Luongo want to play for Toronto?


Last month Sportsnet’s John Shannon stated that a “reputable source” told him Roberto Luongo will be traded to Toronto following the lockout, but Luongo’s agent and Canucks GM Mike Gillis have distanced themselves from the report.

Now Don Cherry is weighing in. He doesn’t see why Luongo would waive his no-trade clause to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Why would he want to come here and step into the same thing as Vancouver? Every time they lose, it’s his fault. He only took them to the seventh game (of the 2011 Stanley Cup final). How many goaltenders have taken them to the seventh game?” Cherry told Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

“I don’t think he wants to step into a real hotspot like here. I think he wants to go to Florida because his wife comes from Florida.”

Cherry does think that Luongo would be a great addition to the Leafs if they can convince him to waive his no-trade clause.

Even if it’s not to Toronto, it would make sense for the Vancouver Canucks to trade Luongo. They have already made a commitment to Cory Schneider by signing him to a three-year, $12 million contract extension. Trading Luongo would spare them of his $5.3 million annual cap hit through 2021-22. That’s especially important when you factor in how close the Canucks were to the projected cap before the lockout began.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”