With the 2012-2013 NHL lockout over and the season finally underway after this past weekend, trade rumors are in full swing.
With nearly half the games in a typical season lost to the disagreements during the lockout, teams are thinking seriously about the changes they need to make now in order to ensure that they have the best chances of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The question is, who will be traded, and when?
The buzz around Vancouver’s apparent desire to trade Luongo has been the loudest of all, especially over the past few weeks. Possible destinations for Luongo include the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers, according to The Hockey News.
Most recently, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons said via Twitter that Luongo will not be dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. What’s more, Luongo has expressed his desire to go to Florida, where he resides in the offseason with his family.
According to the Miami Sun-Sentinel, Luongo detailed, “[The Panthers] make sense for myself, for my career and my family.” He continued, “This is a preferred location for obvious reasons, but I’m not shutting the door on other possibilities.”
Though the Florida Panthers currently have a successful goaltender in Jose Theodore, Luongo still has better statistics than Florida’s starting goalie. Whereas Theodore has a career goals-against average of 2.66 and a save percentage of .910, Luongo has a career goals-against average of 2.52 and a save percentage of .919.
In other words, the Florida Panthers would have a better shot at getting to the Stanley Cup finals with Luongo than with Theodore.
Jonathan Bernier, G, Los Angeles Kings
Another goalie rumored to be on the trading block is the Kings’ young backup goalie, Jonathan Bernier. With starting goaltender Jonathan Quick in the net last season, Los Angeles came out on top during the Stanley Cup Finals. Obviously, Quick will be remaining in his position as starting goalie. Where does this leave 24-year-old Bernier?
As reported TheFourthPeriod.com, “Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been looking to trade Bernier since the early part of last season, when the young netminder requested to be moved…Several teams, including the New Jersey Devils, are believed to have inquired about Bernier’s availability.”
Last season, Bernier had a goals-against average of 2.36 and a save percentage of .909 in 890 minutes of play. He would be a solid young acquisition for any team that decides to make a deal with Los Angeles.
As the Kings are in need of some new players on defense, a trade involving Bernier will almost absolutely get the Kings the defensive help that they need.