trade talk

Luongo not eager to talk about trade speculation

The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly hot for Roberto Luongo.

After Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported the Leafs were looking to swing a deal with Vancouver after the lockout ends, the much rumored about Canucks goalie was again back in the spotlight.

Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun hears from the Olympic gold medalist and how he’d rather not discuss what might be in his future.

“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.”

While Luongo recognizes there are rumors about where he’s going, his agent said last week he hadn’t heard anything about the Leafs being interested. Huh.

Maybe we should just keep an eye on what ole’ @Strombone1 is saying if we want the real dirt.

Even Luongo’s agent hasn’t heard about Maple Leafs trade talk


Sportsnet’s John Shannon got everyone excited this week talking about how Toronto will swing a deal for Roberto Luongo once the lockout ends. While Canucks GM Mike Gillis shot that down, the speculation remains news to some people.

One such person is Luongo’s agent, Gilles Lupien.

Lupien told 1130 AM radio out of Vancouver that he’s heard nothing at all about the Maple Leafs acquiring Luongo and he hasn’t spoken with Gillis since June. He also adds that he hasn’t been asked if Luongo would even accept a trade to Toronto.

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:

Now, the National Post’s Bruce Arthur compared the Maple Leafs to that classic Costanza bit because they won right when it seemed best to lose. (Toronto might be at the point that they should concede its playoff run and tank for a better draft pick.)


… 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?

Jeff Carter adds to his trade value (and Sharks’ road woes)


For all that’s been made about Rick Nash’s trade value, Jeff Carter might just be the best buy among high-profile Columbus Blue Jackets.

If all things were equal, I’d take Nash over Carter. They’re not equal, however, as Nash makes about $2.5 million more per season and would likely cost a lot more in trade assets. They’re both 27 years old and while Nash has the quantity stats over Carter, the two are pretty close in per-game averages.*

Carter added some value to his resume on Tuesday as he scored a hat trick to help the Blue Jackets shock the San Jose Sharks 6-3.

Then again, maybe such a result is getting less surprising. As we discussed this morning, the Sharks are rapidly losing their road warrior descriptor as they’re a disturbing 1-4-1 in the first six contests of a nine-game tour. All of a sudden, the Sharks’ only edge in the Pacific Division lies in their two games in hand regarding the Phoenix Coyotes as both teams are tied with 69 points.

If it comes down to fixing things with a trade, Carter might just be making an argument that he’s a solid bargain answer to his much-discussed teammate.

* – Nash has a .42 goal per game (279 in 652) and a .813 point-per-game (530 in 652) average in his NHL career while Carter averages .39 goals per game (196 in 500) and .736 points per contest (368 in 500) in his. That’s rather close, although it also shows that Carter’s fragility might explain the gulf in interest as much as questions about his partying ways.

Peter Chiarelli’s trade wish list is pretty simple


With the trade deadline approaching in 16 days, teams are going to need to figure out what they need to do to be ready for a playoff run. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is one of many GMs in search of answers for his slumping team.

Chiarelli talks about what he’s looking for on the trade market to help the Bruins repeat as Stanley Cup champions. His wishlist, thanks to’s Joe Haggerty, looks a little similar to a few other teams.

“I’d like to add a defenseman and a forward, without subtracting anything,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich earlier this week. “Right now the market is very, very slow. Races are so tight. I say this every year, but it seems slower this year. The gaps between the 12-13 spots for the playoffs are small.”

“It’s been tough sledding this year, I know we have 2-3 weeks, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The two guys that Haggerty says might need to feel nervous about their starting jobs are forward Benoit Pouliot and defenseman Joe Corvo. Pouliot and Corvo have had games where they’ve looked solid but more than a few others where they’ve been the goat.

Haggerty listed off a host of players the Bruins could take a shot at and all the names are familiar to you by now: Tuomo Ruutu, Ray Whitney, Shane Doan, Jeff Carter, Rick Nash, Ryan Smyth, Hal Gill, Johnny Oduya, etc.

A lot of players on that list would require Chiarelli to go against what he said he’d want to do. If you’re dreaming big on the trade market, you’re going to be left disappointed.