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Columnist: If Leafs are interested, the price for Luongo went up today

Jun 19, 2012, 10:06 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

According to the Globe and Mail’s David ShoaltsJosh Harding’s decision to stay in Minnesota has upped the asking price for Roberto Luongo.

Shoalts refers specifically to the Toronto Maple Leafs, previously believed to be interested in Tomas Vokoun (signed with Pittsburgh) and Harding. But with those two off the market, the list of available UFA goalies gets pretty thin.

One unnamed general manager told Shoalts that Canucks GM Mike Gillis has “the top guy to trade right now,” referring to Luongo.

And it’s true – he is the best goalie on the market. But what about the contract he comes with?

The Canucks are reportedly telling interested teams they have “multiple offers” on Luongo.

Of course, even if they’re telling the truth and not bluffing, the offers may well involve assets heading to Vancouver that are, in reality, liabilities.

From the outside looking in, Luongo-to-the-Leafs makes sense. However, we might be in for a lengthy game of chicken between Burke and Gillis before anything happens.

  1. obamareallysucks - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    stupid leafs!

    • elvispocomo - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      “Silly Leafs, good goalies are for playoff teams!” – said never by the Trix rabbit

  2. scotloucks - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Why does Luongo to Toronto make sense?
    Luongo is way to old to fit in on the Leafs.
    His contract is onerous at best and one of those contracts that Burke has been extremely vocal about disliking.
    There are zero contracts on the Leafs that are worth dumping in favor of 10 years of Luongo.
    I really don’t get those that think Luongo should be in Toronto.
    I’d rather miss one more year of the playoffs and move forward with Scrivens and Reimer.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      Luongo is a solid regular season goalie that could likely get playoff-hungry Toronto a playoff berth. He could also mentor Reimer for a few years before he takes the reigns as the unquestioned #1 guy, which I and people who actually matter believe he will do. If the Leafs go with Scrivens and Reimer at this point they will miss more than one year of playoffs.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      He won’t have to worry about being terrible in the playoffs

  3. barkar942 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    The price is now up to 4 bags of pucks for Lou instead of 3.
    The man seems to have decided he wants out of Vancouver. That is the same as Rick Nash. Once the player publicly states they want out of town, the advantage always goes to the buyer, not the seller.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      The difference is Luongo hasn’t asked for a trade, where essentially Nash has. All Luongo has said is he’d be willing to move if it helps the team.

      Does that mean he wants to move? Probably, but that’s more likely a result of wanting to be the #1 rather than wanting out of Vancouver. Gillis could fix that by moving Schneider for a bigger return and bringing in Lack a little slower than he’d have to with Schneider as the starter.

      After all that there is still the chance both goalies are ok with running as a tandem until the trade deadline as well.

  4. bleed4philly - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    The Leafs should call their bluff, Canucks cannot keep two starting goalies with mega contracts. Just give them a draft pick.

  5. stakex - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Luongo looked bad in Vancouver only becasue they have a championship caliber team, and he tends to vanish in the playoffs. I’ve said before that the Canucks would probably have won at least one cup over the last few years if not for him. So its understandable the Canucks have had it with him.

    On the flip side however, hes still put up fairly impressive numbers in the regular season despite the negative fanfair he gets. Despite his inability to seal the deal in the post-season he would be a huge help to a team like Torronto, and could even get them to the playoffs from time to time. Don’t expect him to take you deep into the playoffs if he does get you there, but that won’t be a huge deal in Torronto since they likely won’t legit championship caliber team anytime soon. That allows Luongo to get away with his el-foldo in the playoffs.

    Its not a perfect solution, but for a team like Torronto which hasn’t even sniffed the playoffs in a while they will take any help they can get… and Luongo is better then a lot of the alternatives.

    • kingfooj - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM

      took the words right out of my mouth, amen

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 20, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      Burke: “I don’t want just sneak into the play-offs and get my ass kicked”…

      • govtminion - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        That statement still makes my head hurt- it was ridiculous when he said it, and now with the eighth seed Kings winning the Cup he looks all the more foolish for it. If ever the Leafs can Burke, I hope they put that comment at the top of his pink slip.

  6. minke3000 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    If you could choose Vokoun, Harding, Reimer, Scrivens, or Luongo, you would choose Luongo every time. Vezina-nominated, Jennings-winning, gold medal winning, and one year removed from coming within one game of winning the Stanley Cup (a game in which his team scored no goals). The others have 3 playoff wins combined. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      If your a team with a big budget that’s missed the playoffs the last however many years and you’re balking at a very good goalie with a not so bad cap hit, then you deserve more years of futility.

      Sure, it’d be great to find that young goalie on a great cap hit that shows up when it counts. Unless you’re very lucky, be prepared to wait a long time and go through a few duds before you every get there though. Vancouver has been there since the days of Kirk McLean, and Toronto is no stranger to not having a goalie they can depend on either.

  7. capsfan19 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Can we all take a step back and think of lou’s feelings?? I think we should make a knitted blanket saying “We all love you lou!” so he doesn’t completely shatter like a sheet of glass.

    • palbo0069 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      so….. should we pump his tires?

  8. scotloucks - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Some of you seem to be seriously missing the point.
    Luongo is 33 years old.
    His contract runs for another 10 years at 5.33m per year cap hit.
    The Leafs have some young goalies, 4 of them. None of which are proven or ready for prime time, but they will be.
    So Luongo is a pretty good goaltender and better than what the Leafs currently have. Can you say the same thing 3 years from now? I doubt it.
    But that 5.33m cap hit will still be there, for 10 friggin years.
    Stupid contract. Let Vancouver eat it.

    • hagigun - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      “scotloucks” has this nailed.

      No one is questioning that this guy won’t help next year or even for the next few years. Lou could play for just about any team, and most teams would take him with open arms for the next 3 years at 4 or even 5 million…

      But, thats not the situation. It’s over 5 million for 10 years. No Thanks! Vancouver essentially married this guy, do not let them divorce him so easily. GM’s should just freeze them out and force a Schneider play by Vancouver, or they eat 5 million in cap space by keeping these 2 together, thereby diminishing the salary space they have to build and refine the team.

      I wish other teams would help clean up my GM’s mistakes. Let them rot and deal with their own mess. Best case scenario if a team acquires him, is again, he’s great for 3 or maybe 4-5 years, but then YOU have to deal with this old, overpaid goalie that now NO ONE wants. What to do then? Look in the future and this doesn’t make sense for any team in my opinion.

      Dumb contract and let the dumb team and dumb GM that gave it to him suffer.

      • thesableo - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        “Vancouver essentially married this guy”. Spot on. By giving him a contract like that, they were saying they were SURE that he’d be their long-term #1 guy. Two and a half years later, they’re not so sure. It’s why super long contracts are so risky.

        However, I don’t think it would be an intolerable risk for a team to take on. You have to keep in mind that in 10 years, $5 million won’t be as big of a cap hit as it is today. Also, his contract is front-loaded, so in the final years he’ll be making half that. They’ll find someone to take him.

    • palbo0069 - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      you read my mind (probably didn’t take long). You are absolutely right and burke should stay away from luongo… however, at this point, after 3.5 years of burke, my assessment is that he will do the wrong thing…… with a couple of exceptions, he almost always does.

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