Roberto Luongo

Gillis would trade Luongo to a Western Conference team


If the best offer the Vancouver Canucks get for goalie Roberto Luongo happens to come from a fellow Western Conference team, then that’s the offer general manager Mike Gillis says he’ll give the most consideration.

“I’m pretty pragmatic,” Gillis told TEAM 1040 radio today.

“I care about our team and having the best team here in Vancouver that we can have. So if that means in our conference, that’s what it means.”

Canucks fans may feel a little less comfortable with the notion of Luongo being traded to, say, the up-and-coming Edmonton Oilers. Or, what if he went to Vancouver’s hated rival in Chicago? The real nightmare scenario is Luongo winning a Stanley Cup  with one of those teams before the Canucks win their first ever.

For now, Gillis is “absolutely comfortable” with keeping Luongo and doesn’t believe — despite what’s being said in the media — that it’s unfair to either Luongo or the other half of the goaltending duo, Cory Schneider, to maintain the status quo.

“I really don’t think those two guys care about the situation,” Gillis said. “They’re both fighting to get into the net. They’re both good friends. I don’t think they approach it any way like that media’s trying to resemble it.”

Related: Gillis won’t “succumb” to media pressure to trade Luongo

Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

Joffrey Lupul
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Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks


Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

Evgeny Medvedev, Nick Bjugstad
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.