Vancouver Canucks: 10 Players Who Could Be Coming West in Luongo Deal
Although there have been a few developments with the goaltending situation since the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated from the playoffs, fans are still left guessing.
So far, we know that Roberto Luongo would be willing to waive his no-trade-clause if asked by Mike Gillis and that he is expected to submit a list of teams in the near future.There was also a report that he had asked to be traded, which has yet to be confirmed by Roberto Luongo or the Canucks.
With this information, it appears that Luongo will be traded this summer. But who he will be traded to and who will be coming the other way is a mystery.
But that doesn't mean we can't speculate.
What we can assume is that there are a handful of teams in the league who are in need of a No. 1 goalie. Of those teams, just a few can afford to take on Luongo's hefty contract. Of those few, even less will be on his list.
We can also assume that because of Luongo's contract, the Canucks will most likely have to take an undesirable contract of at least $4 million per year in return. The Canucks will be hoping that a RW or defender is on the table.
The following is a list of 10 players who could be Canucks next season as a result of a Luongo trade.
New Jersey Devils
It's hard to think of any reasons why Roberto Luongo would have a problem going to New Jersey. Of course, this relies entirely on Martin Brodeur. If he wants to return for another season, the Devils will likely hold out for another season and focus their efforts on Zach Parise.
Brodeur's decision will surely be dependent on how far the Devils go this season. If they were to win the cup, it would be a classy way to call it a career for one of the classiest guys in the game.
If Brodeur does elect to retire following this season, there are a number of players that could potentially be involved in a trade with Roberto Luongo.
Zach Parise is one of the most elite stars in the game, and has shown thus far in the playoffs that he's capable of taking his game to the next level.
As an upcoming unrestricted free agent, if talks go sour with the Devils, they could try to trade his rights before they lose him for nothing.
On the Canucks end, this would be a great deal if they can sign Parise—but that's a big if. If he held out for free agency and the Canucks were unable to sign him, they'd essentially be giving Luongo up for nothing.
The Canucks, despite being one of the best teams in the league, are fairly weak on the back end. Although Volchenkov doesn't bring much offensive ability, he is one of the league's best shot-blockers.
His defensive awareness would be huge for the Canucks down the stretch.
In addition, his $4.25 million cap hit is one of the bigger ones on the Devils roster, and they'd likely be willing to unload it if they were going to get a better crack at re-signing Zach Parise.
It's important to note that Volchenkov has a no trade clause, and like Luongo, would have to agree to the deal in order for it to happen.
In addition, the value brought by Luongo exceeds that of Volchenkov, and the Devils would likely need to add a draft pick or a prospect to the deal to make it feasible.
With the expected departure of Mason Raymond, who's continually been a disappointment for the Canucks, Vancouver will be in line for a new second line right-winger.
Zubrus would bring size and offensive ability to the Canucks roster, and given what he's displayed this postseason, some successful playoff experience as well.
Much like Volchenkov, Zubrus' $3.4 million contract which expires at the end of next season wouldn't be enough to make it work for either teams.
Prospects or a draft pick would be necessary in this trade, or possibly the addition of Volchenkov as well if the Devils are looking to unload some extra cap space and the Canucks find themselves in a position to take it.
Toronto Maple Leafs
As much as Luongo in Toronto would be a bad fit, the rumors and the possibility are there.
After the Maple Leafs' horrendous end to the season, there are going to be strong demands this summer; and one of those demands will be a goaltender.
Mike Komisarek hasn't done much since coming over to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and with a $4.5 million cap hit, they'd gladly get rid of him.
Vancouver could also benefit from this trade. In Montreal, Komisarek was an absolute monster, and if put on the right team with the right coach, he could find his stride again. In addition, Komisarek's 6'4", 243lbs frame would bring some much needed size and grit to the blue line.
Or perhaps the Maple Leafs are just failing to see the value in Komisarek's 80 blocked shots and 104 hits in just 45 games this season.
Regardless, Komisarek has a no-trade clause and would have to waive it for this deal to go through; which is likely considering the scrutiny he faces in Toronto.
Again, the Canucks would require more than just Komisarek in return for Roberto Luongo.
Is it just me, or is Toronto where great prospects go to die? When was the last time this team had a star that actually came through the organization?
Luke Schenn is the latest victim of this prospect graveyard, as a "poor season" has made him one of the most hated men in the city (poor season being the operative term because his numbers were actually no worse than the previous season).
But for the Canucks, if an offer is on the table that sees them picking up a 22-year-old defender who puts up 115 blocked shots and 270 hits in a bad season, it'd be worth the gamble for the former fifth overall draft pick.
Since Roberto Luongo's wife and children live in Florida, they will surely be on his list.
As it stands right now, the Panthers are lacking a clear-cut No. 1 goalie, but from what I've seen from Jacob Markstrom so far, they might want to steer clear of a lengthy contract like Lou's.
That said, Markstrom is still unproven, and the Canucks and Panthers have been very friendly trade partners for a number of years now, so it's impossible to rule them out.
Ed Jovanovski's career has been very up and down since he left the Vancouver Canucks.
Although he hasn't played a full season in three years and looks like he's 65 years old, he could be of great value to the Canucks and the Panthers probably wouldn't be opposed of dumping his $4.125 million.
Whether or not Jovo can be the man we know he's capable of is anyone's guess, but his experience and leadership will be valuable to the team regardless.
Of course, a draft pick would be needed to make this trade work, as Luongo has much more value and many more years left in his career than Jovanovski.
Dimitry Kulikov, the 2009 14th overall draft pick, is one of the best and most coveted young defenders in the game.
His entry level contract expired at the end of this season, and he's set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
If talks aren't looking good between the Panthers and Kulikov, they could trade his rights to another team.
This could be beneficial to Vancouver, as even if they failed to sign Kulikov, as a restricted free agent, they'd still receive compensation for him.
The Canucks are also lacking that star defenseman that Kulikov will surely become.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Of all the teams in need of a goaltender and possibly on Luongo's list, Tampa Bay make the most sense. With Dwayne Roloson set to retire after a horrible season, and no goalie in the system to replace him, Tampa Bay is in desperate need of a No. 1. This would also bring Luongo closer to his family.
Martin St. Louis
Of every possible trade, Martin St. Louis makes the most sense to me.
Firstly, his cap hit is $5.625 million until it expires in three seasons. As valuable as he is, the Lightning could part ways with him and his contract for a star goaltender.
He is also a right-winger, which as mentioned, the Canucks will be looking for.
Next is his passing ability. Martin St. Louis is one of the best play-makers in the game, and on a line with Ryan Kesler and David Booth, there's no telling what they'd be capable of.
To top it all off, his role with Tampa Bay has changed over the last season. Prior to the 2011/12 season, Martin St. Louis was the best player on the team. Arguably, St. Louis was the reason that Stamkos was putting up such high numbers, as the majority of his goals were from incredible feeds from St. Louis. This season was different, however. Stamkos put up an incredible 60 goals; a large portion of which were either not directly from St. Louis, or on a different line all-together.
With it proven that Stamkos can lead the team offensively without St. Louis, this could be the perfect time to deal him.
Again, St. Louis has a no-move clause and will have to agree to any potential deal.
Ryan Malone is another player with a hefty contract that Tampa Bay could afford to get rid of. His $4.5 million cap hit for the next three seasons isn't much less than what Luongo is paid (although the term is much shorter).
Much like Dainius Zubrus, Malone would bring the size and offensive ability that is needed to complete the Canucks' second line.
With a no-move clause, Malone would have to give the green light.
Despite Mattias Ohlund's injury struggles, he could still bring value to any club he plays for.
At a cap hit of $3.6 million, another player or a prospect would be needed to make this trade even for both teams.
Like the other two Tampa Bay players on this page, Ohlund has all the control with a no-movement clause, but it's hard to imagine him saying no to the warm welcome he'd get back in Vancouver.