March 28 2013 10:14PM
Could Tyler Bozak and Roberto Luongo be trading places next week?
Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Canadain Press, Darryl Dyck
Earlier this week Jason Botchford told us to expect the Canucks to make a push to move Roberto Luongo in advance of Wednesday's trade deadline. On Friday evening, the Toronto Star's Damien Cox reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks "quietly" resumed trade discussions centring around Vancouver's star backup.
On the one hand, that makes sense. On the other, I'm not sure how much we should trust Cox after he quite blatantly contradicted himself on the whole "Mike Gillis turned down Kadri" line of criticism. Generally speaking I tend to buy Cox's information, he has proven that he has an axe to grind on this particular topic, and so we should probably proceed with caution...
Which we'll do after the jump.
"...Talks between the Canucks and Maple Leafs quietly resumed this week after weeks of silence between the two teams.
That doesn’t mean a deal is at hand, although it’s believed Vancouver GM Mike Gillis is no longer demanding the likes of Nazem Kadri or Jake Gardiner in a proposed trade. Gillis has a troubling hole to fill at centre and Tyler Bozak remains a comfortable fit."
All of this makes sense to me (well except the part about Bozak being anything resembling the answer at centre for Vancouver). We've heard whispers elsewhere, like from Jason Botchford and Darren Dreger, that Mike Gillis' asking price in a potential Roberto Luongo deal had gone down over the past six-to-eight weeks. Toronto has cap-space and while James Reimer is a relatively capable NHL starter, Roberto Luongo is an elite goaltender and a name and a face for MLSE ownership (Rogers and Bell) to promote.
On the other hand, the rest of Cox's article is spent waxing on about how much leverage the Maple Leafs have in these talks. Apparently instead of committing to Roberto Luongo's life time deal they can go out and get Miika Kiprusoff (who is probably not going anywhere for reasons that have nothing to do with money, so logically a two year extension won't change his mind) and Mike Smith (currently out with a concussion, not realy an upgrade over James Reimer).
This all pretty much illustrates the central conflict with a Damien Cox report for our purposes. We buy the substance, it's just buried in unconvincing editorialized nonsense.
Like when Cox writes about Luongo's contract and Vancouver's urgency to trade the goaltender before the deadline: "Few teams can handle that contract, and fewer still will want Luongo this summer with the cap going down." Maybe I'm crazy, but why exactly would three months change the basic salary cap arithmetic for other clubs? Every General Manager knows the cap is going down anyway, it's not like there's going to be teams that are surprised or caught off guard when they see they have to operate within the parameters of a ~64M dollar salary cap again. Well, maybe Jay Feaster in Calgary.
So in summary: the Canucks are reportedly pushing to move Luongo, and according to Cox they're talking to Dave Nonis and the Maple Leafs with Bozak possibly being Vancouver's primary target. Man, if Dave Nonis manages to trade for Roberto Luongo for a second time in his career as a General Manager, and in total gives up seven games worth of Todd Bertuzzi and fourteen or so regular season games worth of Tyler Bozak, I'd call that impressive.
Read Damien Cox's full report at the Toronto Star site today.