8 Potential Blockbuster Deals That Will Fade Away Due to the NHL Lockout
Not only are GMs unable to sign players during the lockout, but they're also forbidden to execute trades, which makes it impossible for any team to make moves to improve their rosters until a new collective bargaining agreement is approved by the NHL and the NHLPA.
It's a shame, because right up until the previous CBA expired, there were a number of trade rumors floating around that featured big-name players that would have been absolute blockbusters.
Though many of the players discussed still may be dealt, there are a number of potential suitors who will not be in the running by the time the NHL resumes play.
Here's a look at a few of the potential blockbusters that probably won't go down due to the work stoppage.
Bobby Ryan to Philadelphia
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At this point, it doesn’t appear to be a question of whether Bobby Ryan will be dealt, but a matter of when.
After publicly discussing trade rumors around the time of the NHL Draft, Ryan has since retracted his statements (via The Hockey News), but the damage is done.
The Ducks’ priority has to be keeping Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, and the team may find it difficult to pay their top two offensive players what they deserve with Ryan on the books at over $5 million a season.
If the Ducks are planning on dealing the 2010 U.S. Olympian and three-time 30-goal man, the Flyers once appeared to be the most likely trade partner.
Ryan grew up nearby and would be a perfect running mate for Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
With no bona fide snipers on the roster, the Flyers could certainly use a dangler of Ryan’s caliber, but Paul Holmgren doesn’t appear willing to meet the Ducks’ asking price, which reportedly includes either Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn in exchange for Ryan, the No. 2 selection of the 2005 Draft.
The deal would be beneficial for both parties, as the Ducks would get a promising young two-way player with 50-point potential and the Flyers would get the high-end scorer they desperately desire.
However, if the Flyers continue to balk at parting ways with either Schenn or Couturier, the Ducks will find another suitor for Ryan because it isn’t often that a scorer of his caliber is on the market.
Roberto Luongo to Chicago
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As recently as early September, NBC Sports reported that Roberto Luongo was still being linked to the same three teams: Toronto, Florida and Chicago.
Of those three destinations, the least likely appears to be Chicago, because Stan Bowman continues to hope that Corey Crawford will rebound from a dreadful 2011-12 campaign.
In addition, with so many long-term contracts already on the books, Bowman will be hesitant to take on a 33-year-old goalie who doesn't appear likely to play any meaningful hockey until the NHL resumes play.
If Crawford falters down the stretch whenever the season begins, Bowman will surely inquire about Luongo's availability, but the French Canadian butterfly specialist may already be on his way out of Vancouver by that time.
Shea Weber to Philadelphia
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The Philadelphia Flyers made a bold statement when they signed All-Star rearguard Shea Weber to an offer sheet worth $110 million over 14 years.
Unfortunately, the Nashville Predators opted to match the Flyers' offer, and unless David Poile and Paul Holmgren are secretly working on a separate deal, Weber will remain in Music City, USA, for the majority of his career.
Since reports emerged of the Flyers' interest in Montreal's PK Subban, it appears increasingly unlikely that the Predators have indicated any willingness to part ways with their franchise player.
Why not just tender him an offer sheet too? Because the Canadiens matching one for Subban is surer bet than was David Poile matching one for Weber.
So it would instead be a trade for the Flyers and Canadiens for Subban, and Raymond had an idea of what the ante might be to convince GM Mark Bergevin to deal him.
At this stage, if the Flyers are targeting a defenseman, they must realize they have a better shot at obtaining Subban than Weber, though they'll have a tough time getting either of the two.
Jay Bouwmeester to Boston
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A few weeks back, Danny Picard of Comcast Sportsnet New England discussed the Bruins' plans for acquiring a top-four defenseman prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.
According to Picard, the Bruins are on the market for a big-name defenseman who could play with captain Zdeno Chara, and had narrowed down the Bruins' wish-list to two names: Jay Bouwmeester and Keith Yandle.
If Peter Chiarelli is smart about this one, he'll go for Yandle, who is the more offensively gifted and battle-tested of the two.
Yes, Bouwmeester is a solid puck-mover with exceptional straight-line speed for a defenseman, but Yandle is a more desirable piece for the Bruins because of his proven track record of piling up points and excelling on a defense-first team in Phoenix.
That, and according to Picard, the interest between the B's and Yandle is mutual:
Responding to a rumor over the weekend, a source close to Yandle said on Monday night that the two-time All-Star "would love to play for the Bruins."
Though Bouwmeester still may not remain in Calgary beyond this season, it doesn't look like he'll be the big-name rearguard heading to Boston.
Roberto Luongo to Toronto
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It's no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs have interest in acquiring the Canucks' All-Star goaltender, and Brian Burke will more than likely put together a serious offer for Roberto Luongo once the lockout ends.
Try as Burke may, Luongo's preference is still to go back to the Panthers in order to live with his family, who have remained in South Florida since the 33-year-old was dealt to Vancouver in 2006.
Recently, The Miami Herald reported that while the Panthers remain among Luongo’s preferred teams, talks between Dale Tallon and Mike Gillis have “cooled” since negotiations began in June.
Regardless of the current status of negotiations, Tallon will undoubtedly put an offer in for Luongo, and unless the one of three teams in the running for his services find other options, the Canucks will end up trying to spark a bidding was between Florida, Toronto and Chicago.
Ultimately, Luongo will have some say in where he goes, and if the Panthers' offer meets the Canucks' asking price, he'll be donning a Panthers jersey when the puck drops on the season.
Tim Thomas to Chicago
Over the summer, Jason Brough of NBC Sports discussed a rumor that had two-time Vezina winner Tim Thomas going to Chicago in exchange for fellow University of Vermont product Viktor Stalberg.
Now, this wasn't the most ludicrous trade rumor floated around during the off-season, but it is one that has little possibility of being executed.
For starters, Thomas probably won't be playing anywhere when the NHL resumes play, unless of course the entire 2012-13 season is cancelled and he decides to return next fall.
Thomas hasn't said at any point that he plans on going back on his decision to sit the year out, and unless the Blackhawks are giving up on Corey Crawford just one year after inking him to a three-year deal worth $8 million, Stan Bowman won't be looking to take on a 38-year-old carrying a $5 million cap hit.
Instead, Chicago could just wait until the summer of 2013, when Thomas is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, and sign him at a fraction of the cost.
Jonathan Bernier to Toronto
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Since winning the Stanley Cup in June, Jonathan Bernier has publicly expressed his desire to be traded, as he realizes that he won't have the opportunity to start for the Kings at any point in the near future.
Though there haven't been many rumored potential destinations for Bernier as of now, in July, The Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan reported that Brian Burke's interest in the young netminder had increased since the NHL Draft.
Koshan also acknowledged that this came only days after Burke had told a local radio station that he wasn't interested in acquiring a young goaltender, but suggested a deal for Bernier was possible.
If the Leafs lose out on Roberto Luongo, there's a possibility that Burke will continue to search for a goaltender, but it seems more likely that he'd opt to add a veteran mentor for James Reimer, unless he's given up on the 24-year-old already.
That doesn't seem to be the case, so unless Reimer's play is unimpressive early, Bernier won't be headed to Toronto.
Jay Bouwmeester to Detroit
Once the Detroit Red Wings learned of Nicklas Lidstrom's plans to retire, Ken Holland turned his attention to getting Ryan Suter to replace the future Hall of Fame defenseman and the recently departed Brad Stuart via free agency.
As you know, that plan failed as well, as did Holland's Plan B, which was Matt Carle, which meant that the longtime GM has had to get creative in finding ways to sure up the Wings' back end.
In August, NBC Sports' Mike Halford reported that the Wings had interest in acquiring Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary, which would make sense in some respects.
First of all, Bouwmeester is a fleet-footed rearguard, and is very capable of making a crisp first pass coming out of the defensive zone. In addition, Bouwmeester would likely welcome a trade to the Wings, as the two-time All-Star has yet to play in a single postseason contest.
Unfortunately, the Wings signed Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year deal worth $5 million late in the summer, and with Bouwmeester set to make over $6.6 million a season for the next two years, unless Detroit wants to be up against the cap heading into the season, Jay-Bo's contract is simply too expensive for them to take on.
As great a fit Bouwmeester and the Wings appear to be on paper, a trade doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint at this junction.
However, if the Wings move someone like Ian White, and free up some space, they could be back in the mix for the former No. 3 overall selection.