Strombabble: Mr Gillis and Mr Gilman go to Washington

Patrick Johnston
February 03 2013 12:20PM


The Canucks have been interested in Troy Brouwer before, could they be again?

Looks like it's time to add Washington to the list of potential Lu-suitors.

Jeff Angus gave a rundown on Thursday of possible Luongo landing sites, so unless Gillis and Gilman are taking the most round-about route to New Orleans you can imagine - and on Super Bowl Sunday, to boot - it's time to add the U.S. capital  to the list.

Mike Gillis has stressed since the beginning that this would be a hockey trade as much as anything; waiting for the season to start and for teams to start seeing gaps in their lineup always made sense. With the Capitals off to a poor start, are they set to make the proverbial 'shake things up' trade?

Some quick analysis, after the jump.

The Capitals have all kinds of problems, but goaltending wasn't really thought to be one of them. Nonetheless, how comfortable can they be with two young goalies? Word is they are very, very high on Braden Holtby and they can't be uncomfortable with Michal Neuvirth- would they have let Tomas Vokoun walk if they weren't? But the fact remains that they are among the league's worst in goals-against. That's not completely on the goalies - the Caps have been a defensive mess so far, bleeding shots left, right and centre.

Nonetheless, adding an elite goalie like Luongo would be hard for the Caps to pass up. As we've emphasized here before, his cap-hit is very friendly (the Capitals have $6.3 million in cap space) and as we've seen so far this season, he's still very much one of the best in the game.

The Capitals also do have a few players the Canucks have shown interest in before - Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward and John Carlson are all players that have aspects of their game that make sense for the Canucks, given what we know about what the team values. All three are good possession players who play some of the toughest minutes on the team.

The Canucks have two very clear needs that they should be able to fill in exchange for Luongo: some sort of goaltender to play understudy to Cory Schneider and a young-ish forward to help re-stock the cupboard going forward. This team is going to get old, very, very fast. A forward in his mid-20s makes the most sense.

 

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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#1 Fred-65
February 03 2013, 01:08PM
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If it is Washington, I'd like to think these players are included in any deal Filip Forsberg or Tom Wilson

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#2 604YVR
February 03 2013, 01:12PM
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Brouwer: Yes Ward: No, not a big fan of Carlson: Yes, but very unlikely

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#3 van
February 03 2013, 02:42PM
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Don't think Caps want Lu but could be in it for a three-way. Gillis is going to watch the panthers in a few days which seems a more likely destination.

Luongo starting again vs. Edmonton mostly because he's playing well, but perhaps also to reduce Schneider's workload in the context of the whole season where we don't know how reliable his backup will be when Lu goes.

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#4 d
February 03 2013, 02:58PM
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Nux should be interested in Laitch. (He was injured)(hence Gillis quote?) 3rd line two way center/ good FO PK & can play PP 4.2 is high but worth it to solidify center position as centers are worth 1.8 times as forwards!

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#5 Mack
February 03 2013, 04:21PM
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I like Ward and Brouwer as players but am not a fan of either cap hit. $3M+ on a 3rd liner is a bit much, especially with players like Jensen and Sweatt coming up and potentially pushing for spots next season.

The more I think about it, the more I want Stephen Weiss. It would give us so much flexibility. We could either use him to anchor the 3rd line and have the best 1-2-3 punch in the league, or shift Kesler to the wing on the 2nd and have him making plays on the 2nd line. And we'd have an actual effective 2nd PP unit again! I don't see why he'd be opposed to signing here for a few years unless he just wants money, but I think it could be a great fit.

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#6 Unknown Comic
February 03 2013, 04:53PM
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Why are we assuming it's Washington?

Pittsburgh is in Stanley Cup contention this year and for the next 5 years.

Luongo would be a definite upgrade over Fleury and as Gillis stated a few weeks ago, he has a deal in place with a team that needs to move a player (Fleury?) first.

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#7 Mitch
February 03 2013, 06:17PM
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@Unknown Comic

I don't think there's a chance on a Pens trade, particularly one featuring Fleury. He's winning games, he's got a cup ring, and he's still youngish. The Pens undoubtedly consider him a proven asset. Plus he makes 5 mil a season, what's he gonna do, back up Schneider? If we need a 5 mil backup we might as well keep Lui.

The Washington trade's interesting, but I don't know if that'd happen. If they go for Luongo it would probably mean giving up a defensive/2-way forward (in the Laich/Brouwer/Ward mold), and they're bleeding goals as it is. I guess an elite goalie would help that, though.

Still think the most obvious place for Lui to land is Toronto, whose primary motivation has to be just getting back to the playoffs and convincing their fanbase not to be ashamed of them. It might take a lot for the latter, of course.

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#8 JCDavies
February 04 2013, 04:37AM
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A trade with Washington is an interesting possibility. Given Ovechkin's age, Washington probably sees the next five years as its 'window' for contending for the cup and they are probably in 'win now' mode. Ted Leonsis could definitely prove to be a wildcard in all this. It all could depend on how much (or if) he wants Luongo.

As for Carlson, I'm not sure if adding another defenceman with a $4 mil cap-hit would be a good idea.

@Unknown Comic

I'm with Mitch, I don't see Pittsburgh as a possible destination for Luongo.

@Mitch

"Still think the most obvious place for Lui to land is Toronto, whose primary motivation has to be just getting back to the playoffs and convincing their fanbase not to be ashamed of them."

A public display to put more pressure on Nonis and the Leafs, perhaps.

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