The NHL trade deadline is just a few days away, and the rumor temperature just continues to rise. Players are definitely going to be on the move, and wherever they end up is sure to send shockwaves throughout the league.
In one instance, the Vancouver Canucks may have found a potential buyer for goalie Roberto Luongo's heavy contract. However, will other teams be willing to meet such a high asking price for what is essentially a salary dump?
Head south to San Jose, and the Sharks have to decide whether a chase for the playoffs is worth keeping Ryane Clowe around. With the regular season winding down, GM Doug Wilson has a big decision to make in the coming days.
Oh, and did I mention that the Sharks could be moving another player as well?
There's a lot of gossip around the ice, so let's have a look at the latest rumors and figure out where each one stands as of now.
Sharks Shopping Michal Handzus?
San Jose is currently the No. 7 team in the Western Conference, standing 16-11-6 for a total of 38 points. They are one point behind the No. 6 Detroit Red Wings, two ahead of the No. 8 St. Louis Blues and four ahead of the No. 9 Nashville Predators.
Enter 36-year-old center Michal Handzus, who has only tallied one goal and one assist on the season. According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, the Sharks could seek to move him and his expiring contract by the April 3 deadline.
No major interested team has been named, but it definitely makes sense for the Sharks to make a deal involving Handzus, if one can be done. He has been a non-factor all season, so seeing him go would not be that big of a loss.
However, the same cannot be said for another Shark.
Will Ryane Clowe Be Dealt?
Clowe is due $ 4 million this season, and has only tallied 11 assists and no goals in 28 games this season. As he enters unrestricted free agency, Wilson needs to decide if he wants to deal Clowe for the boost the Sharks need, or risk losing him for nothing in the offseason.
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, there are three teams interested in Clowe: the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. A fine playmaking wing like Clowe would definitely be of an instant help to any of these teams, especially if he can break out of his scoring slump.
However, there is one potential bump in the road. Clowe has a full no-trade clause, so he's not going to be traded unless he agrees to waive it. If San Jose receives an offer too good to be true, team management had better hope that Clowe agrees to waive his clause so that the team can continue to move forward.
The Latest on Luongo
The more we hear about Roberto Luongo, the more likely it seems that he will indeed be dealt out of Vancouver this season. He has gone 7-4-3 with a 2.47 GAA this season, and is still at the top of his game at age 33.
However, he has 10 years remaining on his current contract and is due $5.3 million a season over the course of it. With a great youngster in Cory Schneider behind him, there's really no sense in the Canucks keeping him aboard.
According to Bruce Garrioche of the Ottawa Sun, the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown interest despite already having James Reimer and Ben Scrivens between the pipes. However, ESPN's Craig Custance is reporting that things have "gone quiet" in terms of the Luongo trade market.
But wait, what's this? Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports has reported that Toronto and Vancouver have started discussing Luongo once again, so perhaps a deal could be happening in the coming days.
This is definitely something to watch as April 3 draws closer, as the Canucks would love to unload Luongo. Until more details are given, however, all we can do is wait.