NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Heading into the Trade Deadline
With the NHL trade deadline just four days away, speculation and rumors will be at their highest of the season in the coming days.
There's less than a month left in the lockout-shortened season, and the Calgary Flames are looking to blow up their roster, meaning there's a ton of trade speculation coming from that organization.
So what's the latest gossip around the NHL?
Let's take a gander.
It wasn't long ago that Robert Luongo was pegged to be a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but then things fell through and the deal never went down.
Apparently, that flame has rekindled between the goalie and the Leafs because Damien Cox of The Star reported that the Vancouver Canucks' goalie could be on the move to Toronto once more.
Luongo, then, might now be the third option, but he has played well this season, has playoff experience and must still be appealing to the Leafs if the right deal is there. The MLSE board has already approved the addition of a long-term contract the size of Luongo’s, which runs until 2022 with an annual $5.33-million cap hit, as well as $40.6-million owed in actual salary.
The 33-year-old Luongo isn't having the best season of his career, but it's surely not his worst. The former fourth-overall pick of the 1997 draft is 7-4-3 this season with a respectable 2.46 goal against average and .904 save percentage.
It's no secret that the Maple Leafs have been searching for a veteran goaltender to mentor James Reimer, as it was rumored that Toronto was possibly interested in Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames, which I touched on last week.
Again, a move of this nature is more likely to do with putting a veteran alongside a young goalie like Reimer than it is seeking an everyday netminder. Luongo has seven consecutive seasons of at least 30 wins under his belt and would undoubtedly be positive reinforcement for Reimer and the entire Leafs' organization if they can afford him.
Iron man Jay Bouwmeester—another member of the Calgary Flames—could be on the move in Calgary's attempt to rebuild its roster and start over.
According to Sportsnet's John Shannon, Bouwmeester is drawing interest from the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings.
Ansar Khan of MLive also speculates the Red Wings could be in the running for the 29-year-old defenseman, believing it would take a first-round pick and/or a young player or prospect to acquire Bouwmeester.
If there's any type of snag in the trade possibility, it's that Bouwmeester owns a no-trade clause and ultimately has the power to decide where he lands. But with Calgary trying to sell all of its players, the odds of him wanting to remain with the Flames are slim to none, and I don't see why he wouldn't want to play for an annual contender like Detroit.
One thing to note is that he's owed $6.68 million next season, which could limit the amount of teams that come calling for him. One way around that cap hit is for the acquiring team to give up a better player in return for Calgary paying a larger portion of his salary.
Hang tight, folks. There are still plenty of rumors swirling for you to get caught up in.
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