With the April 3 trade deadline looming and Canucks GM Mike Gillis admitting that keeping both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider isn’t the most efficient use of the team’s cap space, it looks like Vancouver and Toronto are once again exploring the possibility of a Luongo trade, according to the Toronto Star.
Things are different since reports of trade talks between these two teams surfaced over the summer. Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer has bounced back from his rough sophomore campaign and his understudy, 26-year-old Ben Scrivens, has also held his own.
Leafs GM Dave Nonis is still interested in adding a veteran goaltender before the playoffs, but Luongo isn’t just an insurance policy, he’s a franchise changing acquisition. Getting him means accepting the fact that the 33-year-old will consume $5,333,333 in cap space annually through the 2021-22 campaign.
In other words, adding Luongo effectively ends Reimer’s chances of becoming the Leafs’ permanent starting netminder.
At the same time, Gillis isn’t thought to be seeking either of the Leafs top young players, Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner, anymore. 27-year-old center Tyler Bozak, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, remains linked to the talks.
The Leafs might ultimately decide to pursue with a more short-term solution, like Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. If they do, the Canucks keep their all-star tandem intact through the playoffs and then look to trade Luongo again over the summer.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)