With the potential trade of Roberto Luongo on the horizon, many are wondering what his trade value is.
And the answer is simple: not much.
If this were a typical trade, then the Vancouver Canucks might be able to get a top-six forward and a prospect/draft pick. But that is not the case, as Mike Gillis and the Canucks have no bargaining power.
Luongo has a significant contract. Cory Schneider, the Canucks and the majority of the fans want him gone, and he wants to go. And everyone knows this.
While Mike Gillis might be waiting for that top-six forward and prospect/draft pick from Toronto, Chicago, Florida or Tampa Bay, these teams are simply waiting for Gillis to treat this like it is: a salary dump.
Because of this dance, one of the following will happen.
In my opinion, the most likely scenario is that Mike Gillis lowers his demand and accepts a salary dump player along with a B-level prospect/draft pick.
Next up is the possibility that a trade does not get done in time for the start of the season and Luongo spends the next season (or part of it) backing up Cory Schneider. It doesn't seem like an ideal scenario, but there could be more interest for the aging star closer to the end of next season, especially if a new CBA that restricts long contracts is agreed upon in the meantime.
Will Roberto Luongo be on a new team come the start of the 2012/13 season?
Of course, a team could always buck up and offer what the Canucks are demanding. If this was to happen, you've got to assume it would be Toronto. They are the one team with the pieces to make it work and the need for a No. 1. Corey Crawford, Anders Lindback and Jose Theodore are capable of getting their respective teams to the playoffs, but the same cannot be said with such certainty in Toronto. Not only has James Reimer not proven himself, but this could be the last dance for Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs if a postseason isn't in store.
Lastly, there's the possibility that Roberto Luongo opens up his availability and widens his list of potential destinations (although we don't honestly know what that list entails right now). It doesn't seem likely at this point, but it could happen if the only other option is to serve as a backup to Cory Schneider.
For the time being however, Luongo's trade value remains a divided issue. And until a consensus can be reached, he will remain a Canuck.