January 10 2013 11:22AM
In what was already an absurd, speculation filled week of hockey news, things really went off the deep end last night. Three separate reporters - Enrico Ciccone, James Duthie and Adrian Dater - all passed along some startling information: that the Philadelphia Flyers were interested in acquiring Roberto Luongo.
The Flyers have the quality young assets that opposing fans drool about (Coutourier! Brayden Schenn!) and a reputation as one of the league's boldest (or most reckless, as you prefer) organizations - from the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades, to the Bryzgalov deal, to the Shea Weber offer sheet. Basically the Flyers represent something of a "perfect storm" for rumours and speculation; they might just be the league's preeminent click-baitable club.
Of course, Paul Holmgren spoke with Frank Seravalli, and laughed off the reports as Broad Street bull-shit, though really that doesn't mean much. Meanwhile, the Luongo speculation in my timeline has turned my Twitter feed into something increasingly indistinguishable from HFBoards (what's the latest this morning? Oh wow, a three way trade!).
We'll look into whether or not any of this passes a basic, common sense smell-test after the jump.
January 09 2013 07:31PM
The Canucks and the Ducks: historic, bitter rivals set to do battle in upcoming season opener!
While we wait patiently for the Canucks 48 game regular season schedule to be released, details are beginning to trickle out. Per Dan Murphy it looks like the Canucks will open the season on January 19th against Anaheim, probably at home since the Honda Centre in Orange County is booked solid with the "How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular" on that date. Needless to say the Ducks aren't exactly a regional or traditional "rival", which set off rounds of complaining because, you know, Canucks fans. How dare the NHL give the Canucks a second tier opponent for their opening game, they've competely ruined the purity of a mid-January season opener!
Speaking of Canucks fans, Pass it to Bulis notices that a bar in Surrey has thrown "Trade Luongo" in big letters on the marquee of their establishment. I'd have recommended something like: "Thanks for everything best goaltender in franchise history," but that's just me.
In "news that sounds familiar to us," Former Canucks General Manager Brian Burke was fired today and will be replaced by former Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis, which you probably knew about already. That is, unless you spent the day in solitary confinement, or in the 1920s, or outside, or I don't know, somewhere else that sucks.
So did Burke's reported unwillingness to trade for Roberto Luongo cost him his job in Toronto? Marc Spector says so, and Pierre LeBrun is buying that too. It could make a certain amount of sense, and at the very least the beat writers in both cities - from Botch, to Mirtle, to Cox - think a Luongo trade is more likely now than it was yesterday (when it was still pretty damn likely). That said, Bob McKenzie doesn't quite buy it and I tend to trust his reporting above all:
McKenzie, Dreger both flatly state they don't believe a Luongo trade was the reason for Burke's departure.— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) January 9, 2013
And neither does Dan Murphy:
If Burke was at such odds with MLSE brass about Luongo then how could he be completely shocked about the firing. Not sure i buy the Lu angle— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) January 9, 2013
So like the CIA at the end of Burn After Reading, we've really learned nothing here.
One more embedded tweet from Craig Custance, who quotes Mike Gillis on the subject of Burke's dismissal.
Mike Gillis on Burke news: "I think it's terribly unfortunate. I know I was shocked when I heard the news. I wish Brian the best."— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) January 9, 2013
Finally, Jim Jamieson catches up with the Sedin twins, who you might remember were only able to stay together as NHL teammates as a result of Brain Burke's hurculean efforts at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Understandably, they seem to like the guy.
More links, Canucks news and clunky humour after the jump.
On Dave Nonis' Canucks Tenure, and Whether or not the Brian Burke Firing Could Impact a Luongo Trade
January 09 2013 11:28AM
A younger, employed Brian Burke admires his fine handiwork as Canucks General Manager.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Brian Burke has been fired as General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke's Leafs teams were pretty much consistently awful, and didn't show any improvement over the course of his tenure (though their prospect pool is somewhat better now than it was when Burke took over), so the move by MLSE to kick him to the curb isn't much of a surprise.
The timing of the firing, on the other hand, most certainly is.
January 09 2013 10:25AM
Some teams not fully decided on underage juniors to invite to camp - most are - but here's a list that should be more or less accurate:— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 9, 2013
Scott Laughton (PHI), Morgan Rielly (TOR), Frank Corrado (VAN), Mark Scheifele (WPG). Most are confirmed but a few are still "likely."— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 9, 2013
While I suppose we still don't know for sure whether or not Frank Corrado is one of the names Bob McKenzie listed that are "confirmed" training camp invites or if he just remains a "likely" invite, if Bob McKenzie says Frank Corrado is coming to Canucks training camp, that's good enough for me.
January 09 2013 09:23AM
It would be against our nature to let a firecracker Jason Botchford take, like this one from Tuesday evening summing up the Luongo-trade situation, pass us by without comment. Botch is in midseason form with some of his one-liners here - in particular I got a hearty laugh out of his droll play on Bob McKenzie's hilarious "biological clock" formulation from Monday night. What I'm interested in discussing briefly here however, is two fresh bits of information concerning the "point men" within the Canucks and the Maple Leafs organization's who might ultimately drive this potential deal to completion, and the prospect of waiving Luongo.