Kiprusoff vs Luongo in the Goalie Trade Market



It’s no secert by now that Roberto Luongo is on his way out of Vancouver. All but usurped by the younger and cheaper Corey Schneider this year, word is the latter won’t sign with the team this offseason while the former is around. Also, the older guy has asked for a trade anyways.

When we discussed Kipper and the Flames other goaltending assets recently I noted this might be a good time to trade Kiprusoff this year, in part because of the dearth of other starter options on the market. There will probably be at least six teams looking for solutions in net this summer: Toronto, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Columbus, Florida and New Jersey (probably). Two of those clubs are likely to land Harding and Vokoun, who are the only worthwhile UFA options. That would have left the Flames auctioning Kipper to up to four motivated trade partners.

Luongo entering the fray obviously complicates things.

Different Assets

Although both Kipper and Luongo offer solutions for clubs desperate for competent netminding, they are very different assets for a variety of reasons:

– Luongo is 4 years younger, has a better recent track record and is signed long term.

– Kipper is older and not as good, but his contract is significantly less risk. While Luongo is signed until 2020, Kipper’s real salary falls to $5M next year and just $1.5M in the final season.

Luongo is a better long-term solution and more likely to put up a few more elite seasons. Kipper, on the hand, is a substantially smaller commitment. So while the Flames and Canucks will be marketing their wares to the same general collection of teams, each potential partner’s interest will not just swing on the availability of Kipper and Lou as well as other options (Harding, Vokoun), but also how they weight the particular benefits and risks associated with each guy.

Other Factors

Another variable in this dance is the fact that Vancouver more or less has to deal Luongo this off-season and he will have significant influence over where he ends up owing to his NTC. That should limit the Canuck’s leverage when it comes to some of the, uh, less desirable markets like Columbus.

The Flames, on the other hand, have the option to wait out Kipper’s NMC (which expires this July) and then auction off his services at their leisure. While this off-season represents perhaps the Flames best opportunity to leverage Kipper for a quality return, they aren’t going to be forced by external factors like a trade demand. The Flames can therefore market Kipper to a wider range of teams and can afford to wait for the best possible deal.

It will be interesting to see what happens with both guys going forward. Goalies are rarely dealt and don’t often command massive returna. Luongo has been a an elite puckstopper for years (albeit with a "choker" reputation) but his contract is onerous and his NTC and the impetus to deal him before the new years starts might limit the return for Vancouver. Kipper is older, closer to average, but has a less risky deal and can be traded to anyone at any time after July 1, so the Flames can afford to wait for the best trade possible.

Related: Mitch Smith of M&G has a thorough post on potential trade partners and returns for the Flames and Kipper this summer.

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  • ChinookArchYYC

    Everyone seems to be missing the point. Vancouver can trade Lou because they have a replacement who is younger, cheaper and likely more promising going forward. The Flames don’t. Trade Iginla not Kipper.

  • Avalain

    “It will be interesting to see what happens with both guys going forward. Goalies are rarely dealt and don’t often command massive returna.”

    Did anyone else read returna and think of Final Fantasy? No? Really? Oh, uh, me neither.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    @Mitch2: I dont have a problem with your breakdown of potential trade value for the sake of discussion and speculation. Not really liking the Chicago return & dont think Chicago will give up Leddy. I do think Toronto(choke urggghhh) is probably the best trsde partner & I do like the swap of 1st’s as the starting point. Hate to take a bad contract back when trading Kipper but if that gives us a losing lottery pick(5th)& a top prospect & a 4-5 dman, I actually see a lot of sense pursuing that deal. In fact I would even up the prospect we give up from Carson to Byron or House. Komiserak & Franson address some changes & vacancies we badly need on the blueline, improvement or not remains to be seen. Colbourne & the 1st rounder flip also helps big time toward the quick rebuild mission. Burke should be Feasters 1st call.

    Saw some reference to Feaster blundering his big name goalie in Tampa. Big big differences of his situation. Had a bunch of young stud players winning a Cup & all needing new contracts on anorganization that cap or not, didnt have the $$$$ to throw around. Calgary is not coming off a Cup win & $$$ are not a barrier here.

    Between Luongo & Kipper, consider 1 thing:
    All the teams in the market for a bonafide, guaranteed number 1 workhorse goalie all have young up & coming future Schneiders lurking to make their names, Toronto(Reimer), Chicago(Crawford), Wash(Holtby), Florida(Markanson(sp?)). That Luongo contract is one ugly herring, I call it the Kipper effect of what we have seen for the last how many years. Kipper takes up so much cap & is so good, you have to play the guy 65-70 games a year. What kind of backup can you afford & carry? The cheapest kind, where you just want them to play steady, come in cold & hopefully win the odd game. The kid gets ruined because they literally dont play & improve. This is fine when you have a playoff bound team that wants to contend but not on a rebuild. Conclusion, Kipper is a way better fit on teams like Toronto, Chicago, Florida, NYI, Washington where they may want these kids to learn for another year or 2 before handing them the keys to the crease. In addition, if the kids development is ready say after 1 year, Kipper, in his last year, with no NTC to worry about has some pretty darn good rental value at the trade deadline in Feb 2014.

    Bottom line, people can say what they want but if the return isnt very good, Flames dont trade him. Simple as that, go eat Luongo’s contract then. I think anyone can over sell Kippers value at this point to several teams out there.

  • RKD

    Kipper is the more attractive goalie, mostly because of the cap hit and short length left on his contract.

    One thing for sure, we all know Luongo will move. Realistically, any team who take Lou will probably get at least another 3-4 good seasons out of him.

    The big difference in the situation is Schneider has usurped Luongo as the starter. The same cannot be said in Calgary. Leland Irving looks like a pretty solid goalie, but hasn’t played enough to anoint him as the starter. Schneider has never played a full season.

    I think Yzerman’s first choice will be Luongo because he took him for Team Canada.

    We don’t know if Rammo wants to come to the KHL, he’s still tied down to a contract over there. If Rammo wants to come to the Flames and can get out of the KHL, the Flames should explore what return Kipper would bring.

  • supra steve


    No one is missing the point (except, perhaps, you). Trade them both, suck real hard for a few years. Draft well with the high draft position that goes with sucking. There are no guarantees here, just as there are none if you keep them both. But at least there will be hope, where there is none now.


    Sorry, “returna” didn’t trigger any FF memories. Now if it had read “massive EvilEye” or “Chaos”…

  • BobB

    Reading almost every linked article many people seem to agree on/believe four things:

    1. The market for goaltenders is not one inclined to provide large returns. See: Mitch Smith article @ M+G.

    2. Trading Kipper for little/poor return is silly, he should be traded for good return! Like a 1st, a prospect/futures. See various comments/expectations

    3. Kipper being traded would be a good start to a rebuild/retool. See Kipper+assets article.

    4. Kipper should be traded because he has been “below average” for 3 of the past 5 seasons. He’s old. He’s going to breakdown. See critics.


    Am I the only one thinking that people aren’t putting those four things together?

    GMJF thoughts via Flames fans:
    “I’ve got an aging goalie, who’s been below average for 3 of the past 5 seasons, you know, bound to breakdown. I know the market isn’t giving great returns on goalies, but WE NEED TO REBUILD! PLEASE! DAMMIT, PLEASE! Can you give me your 1st, a prospect/first liner and maybe a little something else?”


  • RexLibris

    I’ll start with the last comments first:

    Iginla for Staal – first or second line centres are nearly impossible to come by and I think Pittsburgh found that their defence needed shoring up more than the wing this April.

    If Staal is moved I would expect they would prefer a target of a defender. Maybe not Shea Weber, but something akin to him as a player and probably within the same range as Staal’s age.

    Would Staal to Toronto for Schenn and a pick (not the 5th overall) sound plausible?


    Here’s a link to a recent article on CopperandBlue (sorry for linking another site on the Nations, but the article speaks directly to Dubnyk as a starter and seeing as we’re discussing M&G…)

    Derek Zona does a pretty good job of outlining the development of Dubnyk and from what I have seen I think his performance would slot him right in the middle of the average starting goaltender for the NHL last season.

    I think the Oilers will look at pursuing Josh Harding this summer. If they can’t sign him then they go into camp with Khabibulin and Dubnyk again and give Yann Danis, assuming he re-signs, another chance to unseat Khabibulin as the backup. For my money I’d like to see Dubnyk backed up by Danis or Harding this season.

    As for our first overall for Subban, the only way that might work is if the Canadiens got really desperate and the deal looked like our 1st, Ryan Martindale and Theo Peckham for their 3rd overall and P.K. Subban. I don’t see the Oilers that desperate to move down and I’m not the biggest fan of Subban.

    Instead I think the Oilers plan to draft Yakupov and add him to the list of reasons they give to Justin Schultz as to why he should sign with the Oilers.

    I know there are many fans here who would like the Oilers to move their pick, for various reasons, but I think the franchise is going to end up keeping the pick and drafting Yakupov. I know the temptation is to trade the pick or the player immediately to improve the team for next season. However, if Yakupov is traded I think it would be a far better strategy to exact a few seasons’ worth of work from him and, with luck, raise his value.

    There is always the chance that he becomes injured and the Oilers will lose out on moving him, but that could be said before every single NHL game: best not dress your most valuable player because he may get hurt.

    It would be a far better return for the Oilers in the end if they were to trade away a 30-goal, 21-year old winger than an 18-year old prospect with no NHL experience or resume.

  • RexLibris

    Now here’s a draft scenario that I’d like to propose (and sadly it doesn’t involve the Flames)

    Rick Nash to Toronto for their 5th overall pick, Joe Colborne and Luke Schenn.

    Columbus could then propose to trade the 5th overall pick and Ryan Johansen to the Oilers for Sam Gagner, David Musil and the first overall pick.

    Columbus would have the opportunity to draft 1st and 2nd overall and could opt for Yakupov and Galchenyuk or Murray while the Oilers would have a 2nd line centre and a draft position where they could select Rielly, Dumba or Reinhart.

    I know it’s far-fetched, but we’re living in the land of make-believe today.

    • Mitch2

      Nash doesn’t fit Toronto though. They already have Kessel on the RW. Their needs are really #1 G and #1 C. Also his contract, so long, it is a marriage.

      Toronto would be interested in moving up in the draft though, so you could work scenarios where Toronto swaps its 5th for Edmonton’s or CBJ’s pick.

      That allows Toronto to get through the draft a #1 C or at least one with strong potential to be one.

      Edm or CBJ would still have a high pick and the 5th pick. It would cost Toronto to move up though.

      • RexLibris

        There have been constant rumours this season about Edmonton and Toronto (Oilers have forwards, Leafs have defensemen, etc). I just don’t see what Toronto would give up that the Oilers would want. Toronto would have to offer from a position of strength, meaning defence. But to draft at 5th overall means almost certainly taking a defenseman in this draft. And I really don’t see the Oilers wanting Kadri when we already have Gagner.

        It just doesn’t seem to fit.

        I agree that Nash seems a strange fit for Toronto and it is most likely that he goes to New York instead, in my opinion.

        Seeing as so many Flames fans have suggested, almost insisted, that they want Edmonton to trade away this pick, let me ask you: if the Flames were in this exact same position as the Oilers, and given the reasonable range of deals on offer, would you or any other Flames fans feel it was in the team’s best interests to move that pick for more, if lesser, assets?

        Personally, I just don’t see there being that much for the team to gain at this time.

        Hall can move to centre (he played junior there and was only moved to the wing because of the Spitfires depth in the middle), then you have RNH with Eberle, Hall with Yakupov, and Paajarvi and Hartikainen can eventually move into the LW slot on either of those two lines. Hemsky and Gagner become redundant and can then be traded for other assets as needed. In a few years, if Yakupov looks to become too expensive then trading him at that time will likely have a higher return. And Pitlick may be able to play the RW on a second line, though obviously not at the same level.

        That’s just my take on it. Sorry to go on about the Oilers on the Flames site.

      • RexLibris

        Sorry to belabour the point, but what about the idea of Toronto acquiring Nash and then trading Kessel to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal?

        Or do I need to stop now and get some sleep before I start rating my trade proposals with alpha-numeric codes?

        • Mitch2

          I don’t think Burke moves Kessel unless Kessel wants out.

          I think Toronto has a ton of trade options this off-season. I could easily see a swap of picks with Edm getting a very good young D man for the swap. Toronto will use that top pick to get their top young C.

          Edm will still draft 5th overall which is still prime position.

          Since so many think I have overvalued Kipper. A deal could still be made with Toronto.

          Kipper could go for Toronto’s 2nd and Colborne. That will leave Toronto with Cap issues but whatever.

          I do not see Colborne as this gold plated prospect though