NHL Trade Rumors: Could Chicago Blackhawks Land Roberto Luongo?

Josh CohenCorrespondent IIJanuary 22, 2013

Luongo is not long for the Canucks.
Luongo is not long for the Canucks.Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks are sure to trade Roberto Luongo, but can the Chicago Blackhawks make a deal work?

There is certainly a desire to bring Luongo to the United Center.

Even as Chicago became a contender again, the goaltender position has been a question mark. From Cristobal Huet to Marty Turco to the current tandem of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, the Blackhawks have wanted for an elite netminder.

It just doesn't seem like Chicago has the means to acquire the top prize of the trade market, though.

Surprisingly, the cash-strapped Blackhawks do have the money to make a deal for an elite player. 

As expensive as Luongo's contract is, its length makes it much more palatable for the Blackhawks. He's making $6.7 million this season with a cap hit of just $5.3 million, perhaps a steal if Luongo plays up to his elite potential. 

That hit could become more onerous as the salary cap lowers in the coming years. However, that's something Chicago's front office could worry about down the line. Right now, getting Luongo supersedes any concerns about paying for him.

The main problem for the Blackhawks is how they could convince the Canucks to part with Luongo. When it comes down to it, an offer centering around Dave Bolland just isn't enticing enough.

CBS Sports' Brian Stubits reported prior to the lockout that the Blackhawks had built an offer for Luongo around Bolland. Vancouver was in no rush to deal Luongo then, but might be more interested now that a trade is a more pressing issue.

At age 26 and due just $3.4 million in each of the next two seasons, Bolland would be a fine addition to the Canucks' front line. Even though he has spent the last two years on the third line, he has notched 34 goals in that time, and Chicago is finally giving him an opportunity to take on a larger role in the offense.

For a player like Luongo, though, Chicago is going to have to do a lot better than Bolland.

The Blackhawks' draft picks aren't going to be valuable enough to interest Vancouver, and they are light on young talent to trade other than Bolland.

Though Chicago is a reasonable landing spot for Luongo, the Blackhawks just don't make sense as a trade partner for Vancouver.