“I don’t want to speculate on anything because there are a lot of rumors,” Luongo said.
“Obviously, when the time comes and I do have to make a decision we’ll make one with the best interests for myself, the team and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “But for now I think my focus is just on being ready to play no matter where that is.”
Obviously a lot of that has to do with the lockout being in place since September 15. Teams aren’t allowed to swing deals during the work stoppage.
Add to that Cory Schneider’s contract extension and the looming changes to the CBA after the lockout, teams interested in Luongo wanted to be sure the new rules wouldn’t bury them with his bad contract. Regardless of all that, expect the same suitors (Toronto, Florida, Chicago) to still be interested in him once the lockout is over.
Channeling Costanza: Should Toronto trade Phil Kessel?
Two fascinating bits of Canadian commentary converged to formulate a wacky thought. Should Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke channel the contrary streak that George Costanza once rode by trading Phil Kessel?
Before I delve deeper, here’s the video behind the reference:
… Yet, when you think about it, the comparison actually might extend to Damien Cox’s rabble rousing claim that the Maple Leafs should trade their high-scoring winger Phil Kessel.
To Cox’s credit, he does describe his suggestion as a “terrible choice” that Burke should make. The logic is simple: as good as Kessel is, he’s not the “leader” that the Maple Leafs need – he’s not “a Carlyle player” – so why not “cut bait” now?
Moving Kessel wouldn’t signify “blowing up” the blueprint. It would simply be an acknowledgment this player doesn’t embody what the club requires at this stage. All the other young assets acquired in recent years can be retained and prospects and/or picks secured in a Kessel trade would be valuable pieces.
Burke can’t afford to insist that Kessel is a foundation player when he obviously is not, at least not for these Leafs, and he certainly can’t afford to make another huge financial commitment to him.
Another terrible choice is upon the Leaf hockey boss. He waited too long to make the first one and it cost him. He can’t make that mistake again.
It’s an interesting perspective, but I’m not sure if the Richards/Carter parallel makes sense. The Flyers had Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, Danny Briere and other quality forwards to fill the void; is there any one on Kessel’s level in Toronto? The best immediate answer would probably be Joffrey Lupul, whose renaissance has a lot to do with his chemistry alongside Kessel.
Still, there’s no doubt that if the Buds did want to sell high on Kessel, now would be the best time to do so. With all that in mind, what do you think? Should Toronto stick with him or provide an ode to Costanza’s bizarro strategy and trade him away?