The Vancouver Canucks aren’t rushing to move veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo, but speculation persists over where he’ll wind up.
It’s widely expected Luongo will be returned to the Florida Panthers, where he spent five seasons before being dealt to the Canucks in June 2006. Of late, however, there’s a growing perception the Chicago Blackhawks are in the mix, based largely upon Luongo’s recent complimentary comments about Chicago as a hockey town.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman declined to discuss those rumors, saying he’s not allowed, under the league’s anti-tampering rules, to talk about players under contract with other teams.
The Vancouver Province, however, claimed not only were the Blackhawks “mulling over” a Luongo acquisition, but they had talks with the Canucks and reportedly offered pesky center Dave Bolland.
The idea of the Canucks accepting Bolland – who made derogatory comments about the Sedin twins last season – seems as far-fetched as the Blackhawks acquiring Luongo, who is mercilessly razzed by Chicago fans and pundits whenever the Canucks visit the Windy City.
Taking on the remaining 10 years of Luongo’s expensive contract, with its $5.3-million cap hit, would take a big bite out of the Blackhawks payroll.
Combine that with the long-term deals for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook and they’d be tying up nearly $41 million in only seven players by adding Luongo.
As Luongo noted when he made his glowing remarks about Chicago, it would depend not just on the willingness for both teams to make a deal, but also on his willingness to waive his no-trade clause and accept that move.
DID DOAN GET TOO EXPENSIVE?
If a recent report out of Phoenix regarding Coyotes captain Shane Doan is any indication, signing him will prove a very expensive undertaking.
John Gambadoro of KTAR 620 in Phoenix took to Twitter last Friday and claimed an NHL source confirmed to him an Eastern Conference team had offered a four-year contract to Doan worth more than $30 million.
At $30 million that would be a cap hit of $7.5 million, a ridiculous amount for a 35-year-old right winger on the downside of his career and whose best season was four years ago in 2007-08, even one as respected as Doan.
Either Gambadoro’s source got its information wrong or there’s an Eastern Conference GM who’s taken leave of his senses.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Orange County Register sportswriter Mark Whicker suggested during a radio interview that the Boston Bruins would be able to pry right winger Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks if they offered center David Krejci and a first round pick.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty pointed out that one reporter’s opinion doesn’t mean Ryan will be coming to Boston, but speculated the 25-year-old is of interest to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ expensive asking price for right winger Rick Nash was expected to make Ryan a more affordable option for teams seeking a first-line scoring winger, but there’s been nothing out of Anaheim in recent weeks to suggest Ryan is available.
Indeed, things have gone quiet on that front since GM Bob Murray said he’d speak with Ryan after the entry draft regarding the right winger’s public unhappiness over the trade speculation that dogged him last season.
As for Chiarelli, while he recently admitted he’d be active in the “secondary trade market” rather than free agency, it’s believed he’s more interested in landing a veteran third-line forward than a first-line scoring winger.
SENATORS LOOKING TO BULK UP
The Ottawa Senators re-signed popular, physical right winger Chris Neil to a three-year extension but, having allowed center Zenon Konopka and defenseman Matt Carkner to walk via free agency, they need more depth in the toughness department.
In the wake of Neil’s re-signing, Senators GM Bryan Murray acknowledged a need for grit, hinting he would turn to the trade market to address it.
Don Brennan of The Ottawa Sun suggested several potential targets, listing his top five as Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck, St. Louis’ Chris Stewart, Boston’s Shawn Thornton, Los Angeles’ Kyle Clifford and Columbus’ Derek Dorsett.
Brennan acknowledged he was engaging in some “wishful thinking,” because what makes them enticing to the Sun pundit as trade targets also makes them valuable to their respective teams.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla’s Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.