NHL Rumors: The Latest Buzz Around High-Profile Players
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The NHL offseason has been busy, and Roberto Luongo is one of several high-profile players who could be wearing a different uniform next season.
Trades can come from out of nowhere, and teams are looking to get their payrolls under control. Those two factors can lead to players finding new teams.
This time of the year in the NHL doesn't get a lot of publicity in the media, but it can change the course of a franchise.
Free agents will dominate the headlines in the offseason, but players currently under contract could also be in the headlines.
Let's take a look at some of the high-profile players who may wind up with a new team next season.
Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver Canucks
Once the best goaltender in the league, Roberto Luongo was turned into a backup after signing a massive contract.
Loungo still has nine years and more than $40 million remaining on his contract.
The Canucks just traded starting goalie Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for a draft pick, according to Adam Gretz of CBSSports.com.
Just a few days ago Elliott Papp of the Vancouver Sun suggested the team should look into buying Luongo's contract out. The Canucks had been trying to trade the goalie for some time now, but they were able to unload their other goalie instead.
What does the trade mean for Luongo?
All signs point to Luongo regaining his starting job. However, James Duthie of TSN.ca tweeted an interesting comment from Luongo.
Roberto Luongo: "I'm shocked! I have to let this sink in and figure out what I'm going to do."— James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) June 30, 2013
Things between the player and the franchise may be beyond repair, and it could be in everyone's best interest to move on. It looks like the Canucks are willing to give him another shot, but Luongo may have other ideas.
For now, Luongo remains in Vancouver. That could change if he decides that he does not want to return to the team.
Vincent Lecavalier, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
One of the high-profile players on the free-agent market is Vincent Lecavalier. The Lightning bought out his contract last week, and he is now looking for a new team.
He has had a busy couple of days. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reported that 12 teams have contacted the veteran.
So that's a dozen teams. Lecavalier camp hoping to narrow down choices to 3-4 teams within next 2 days or so— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
The 33-year-old has many options and can take his time deciding where he wants to play next.
Since the 2006-2007 season, Lecavalier has seen his point total drop nearly every season. He saw a very slight increase one year, but he continued his fall after that season.
He isn't going to put up 90 points anymore, but he can still be a very good player. Some of the teams he met with are legitimate title contenders, so he can go and try to win the Stanley Cup again.
Danny Briere, C, Philadelphia Flyers
Like Lecavalier, Danny Briere was bought out by his former team. The Philadelphia Flyers got rid of one of the players who helped the Flyers make a couple of runs in the playoffs.
Briere signed an eight-year contract back in 2007. If fans have learned anything from these three players, it's that NHL players signing long-term extensions rarely works out.
Briere fared well in the first half of his contract, but he has had a rough past few seasons. The issue with his contract was the cap hit the team would have had to endure. They decided to part ways with the center, and he now has to find a new home.
LeBrun tweeted that Briere is drawing interest from half of the league, so it will be up to the player to decide which team will be the best fit.
Expectation is that the Daniel Briere shortlist will be down to 4-5 teams by Tuesday. 15 teams called— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2013
Many options are available, and Briere has some time to start eliminating teams from the mix. He still has plenty of talent and can contribute to a contender.
Briere's future may be clearer by early this week, but he has plenty of teams that will try to convince him to sign with them.
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