NHL Trade Rumours: What Would the Roberto Luongo Trade Look Like?

Imtiaz FerdousCorrespondent IIJanuary 7, 2013

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 17: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks stops Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings in close during the third period in NHL action on January 17, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

So now that hockey is back, we can go back to what we did before and speculate on what will happen to Roberto Luongo. As a Leafs fan, I would be happy if he goes to Toronto (the possibility is reported here via the Toronto Sun). Let us try to see whether the speculated deal of Cody Franson and Tyler Bozak for Luongo (via Ben Kuzma of The Province) is too much or too little.

First, it is important to point out two things about Luongo. He is an elite goaltender. If we ignored his contract, he would fetch multiple top prospects without question.

Don't believe me? Let's look at his stats. He played, in the last three years, 55 games (2011), 60 games (2010) and 68 games (2009). Granted, his number of games played is going down, but this is more due to the rise of backup Corey Schneider than his failings. His save percentage in that period is .919 (2011), .928 (2010) and .913 (2009) along with GAA of 2.41 (2011), 2.11 (2010) and 2.57 (2009). Clearly elite.

People may argue about his playoff performances. To be fair, this has been only true in two of his last three years. His save percentage dipped below .900 in the playoffs in the 2009 season and last year, but to be fair last year he only played two games.

His other three years, he had save percentages of at least .914 with GAAs of 2.56 or lower. Overall in the playoffs, he has a .916 save percentage and a 2.56 GAA, so he is not that bad in the playoffs overall, though has struggled lately.

You may argue he had an outstanding defence in front of him, but so what? Brodeur had an outstanding defence in front of him—you don't see anyone criticizing him. To be fair, Brodeur has a slightly better save percentage in the playoffs over his career, but he did always have the better defence. So Luongo should still be considered an elite goaltender.

So as you can see, without his contract, he is worth an arm and a leg. However, his contract pays him around $5.3 million per year for seven years. That's a huge commitment to a man who is 33. For this reason, the trade proposals have not included superstar players or outstanding prospects. It has only included middling talent. What has it included?

As it stands now, the rumoured deal is Tyler Bozak, Carter Ashton and Cody Franson. To me, the deal is kind of skewed in Toronto's favour, but this deal may be fairer than I give it credit for.

Bozak would be the third-line centre the Canucks are looking for. His 18 goals and 47 points show he may be able to handle second-line duties for a small amount of time (like, say, until Kesler returns).

Ashton is a prospect, and who really knows if he will ever be good enough to make the Canucks team? Franson may be the defenceman they need, but it all depends on how much money he wants. Also, he may be a lot better than he has shown in the last year.

I think Franson is a defenceman that can be counted on for around 30 points. But that's really it. That is not bad for a defenceman, especially considering all the defencemen Vancouver already has. So it may fill their two needs at the moment. However, they would need a backup goaltender, because in a shortened season it's better to have two goaltenders ready than one because the games are so close to each other.

In conclusion, I think this trade fills some needs for the Canucks. However, such a deal is slightly lopsided to the Leafs. It may happen or it may not, but it is a fair deal for both teams at the moment.