With rumors surfacing that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is said to have contacted Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis about acquiring Roberto Luongo one wonders what the asking price could be?
The Maple Leafs are set to start next season with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens between the pipes. While both Reimer and Scrivens have lot’s of potential, neither one is widely regarded as a true number one goalie.
Last season the Maple Leafs struggled to find a goaltender that could stop the puck, dressing the likes of Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson (who signed with the Detroit Red Wings this summer), Scrivens and Jussi Rynnas between the pipes.
Reimer missed most of last season with what was originally thought to be a concussion, later found to be a neck ailment, forcing Gustavsson into the number one role. Scrivens got into 12 games with the Maple Leafs, posting a 4-5-2 record to go along with a bloated 3.13 goals against average and a less than impressive .903 save percentage.
Through all the bad bounces, injuries and questionable play between the pipes, Burke has continued to back Reimer as a potential star, while also praising Scrivens for his work at the AHL level with the Toronto Marlies.
Needless to say, the fans aren’t buying into Burke’s plan to employ a 1-2 punch of Reimer and Scrivens, and if the rumors are true, Burke looks to be in doubt as well.
Burke is said to have contacted Gillis about the services of Luongo prior to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The talks ended when the asking price was said to be too rich for Burke. If Burke recently contacted Gillis, it appears as if Burke may be having a change of heart, which could be great news for the Leafs Nation.
The Value of adding Luongo to the Maple Leafs roster has been debated in many forums. Despite a solid career record of 339-283-33-50, Luongo has his fair share of doubters.
Most of Luongo’s critics point to some questionable efforts during the playoffs. A quick look at Luongo’s career playoff numbers reveals a record of 32-29-0, a 2.53 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage. Those numbers are on-point with Luongo’s career regular season numbers which reveal a 2.52 goals against average and 0.919 save percentage.
Last season Luongo posted a 2.41 GAA and a 0.919 save percentage, proving he is far from “done” as a legitimate NHL goalie.
The Hockey News recently ranked Luongo as the ninth best goaltender in the NHL, just one spot behind Corey Schneider, who beat Luongo out for the number one role in Vancouver last season. Reimer and Scrivens were MIA on this list, which is hardly a surprise when you consider how unproven they both are.
Luongo would be a huge upgrade for Burke, a fact that is likely not lost on the burly Irishman.
Luongo’s contract continues to be a sticking point for many NHL teams, but when you consider the riches of the Maple Leafs, money is not really an issue. Luongo’s contract runs through 2021-2022 at a cap hit of $5,333,333. On the surface the optics of this deal looks horrific, but when you consider Luongo (33) will probably retire in six or seven years, the numbers are manageable— especially for a team that desperately needs a goaltender.
The other sticking point for Burke is what Gillis will be asking for in return for Luongo.
The Canucks have a very average talent pool within their prospects, which means Gillis will probably be looking to land a package of picks and prospects.
According to The Hockey News Future Watch edition, the Canucks top ten prospects are Niklas Jensen (RW), Brendan Gaunce (C), Kevin Connauton (D), Eddie Lack (G), Jordan Schroeder (C), Anton Rodin (LW), Yann Sauve (D), Alexandre Mallet (LW), Frank Corrado (D) and Adam Polasek (D).
Once thought to be a blue-chip prospect, Schroeder has been inconsistent and has struggled to find his game at the AHL level. At 22-years old, the clock is ticking on Schroeder. Sadly, the once highly coveted forward may never be the impact player that many scouts felt he would be when the Canucks drafted him 22nd overall in 2009.
Should Luongo find himself with a new NHL team, Lack is expected to assume the backup role behind Schneider. When you look at the rest of Vancouver’s crop of prospects many are stuck behind a very talented NHL roster or years away from making an impact at the NHL level.
Youth rules today’s NHL, and while the Canucks boast an impressive NHL roster they have to be prepared for the future as well, which means they will have to maximize the return they get for Luongo if/when Gillis decides to trade him.
So, what will Gillis be asking Burke for?
Nobody knows for sure, but putting myself in Gillis’ shoes I think the asking price starts with a second round pick and one of Toronto’s top defensive prospects which may mean Burke saying goodbye to one of Stuart Percy (D), Jesse Blacker (D), or Matthew Finn (D). Gillis may also kick the tires on one of Burke’s top forward prospects, such as, Carter Ashton (RW), Joe Colborne (C) or Nazem Kadri (C/LW).
Gillis may also have considerable interest in right winger Matt Frattin, but I find it hard to believe Burke would be willing to trade away Frattin, who is as affordable as he is valuable to the Maple Leafs.
If Gillis is thinking about Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly he can forget it, Burke will not trade either one of them for Luongo.
Of course, there is the matter of trying to off-set Luongo’s salary by adding in a player that carries a reasonable cap hit. Forwards Matthew Lombardi and Tim Connolly carry sizable contracts, but both of these players have one-year left on their contracts at a cap hit of $3.5 million and $5.75 million, respectively.
With Luongo gone, Vancouver could easily absorb one of those contracts, although with the team so close to a Stanley Cup Championship, Gillis may balk at the idea of taking a contract of significance in any deal for Luongo.
An offer of Connolly, Blacker and a second round pick would seem more than enough to get this deal done.Connolly’s veteran experience would be a valuable asset for Vancouver, and he is not a liability defensively.
When you consider as many as 2-3 other teams will be bidding on Luongo’s services you have to think Burke will have to give up more than expected, so it is not unreasonable to suggest a deal of this magnitude is what it will take to land Luongo.
What do you think Leaf fans? What should Burke be willing to give up for Luongo? If you were Gillis what would you be asking for?
****Please, no mention of Mike Komisarek in your proposals, Gillis will never take him!
19 thoughts on “Roberto Luongo: What Will The Asking Price Be?”
Can’t believe some Canuck posters are asking for the moon….if he’s THAT GOOD, why not just keep him? Because we all know he is at the point of his career of being overhyped for the money and starting on the declined. Pulled in only the 1st round series of the playoffs…..doesn’t that say something! Asking for a 1st rounder or Kadri….come on now! If the Leafs had Luongo and his ridiculous tied-up 10 year $$$$$ contract, would Vancouver make the trade. Of course not! Luongo is worth perhaps a 3rd round pick and a present role player off the Leaf roster at most. Nothing more!
I think gillis should wait until the trade deadline, for 2 very important reasons (if there’s a season) 1. corey Schneider had an excellent year last year, but Vancouver needs more time to see if he is ready to be a #1.
2. come trade deadline teams will be fighting to make the playoffs and will pay big for a star goaltender to take them to the playoffs.
For me the issue with Luongo is that he will be gone before the cap hit is, because as I understand this issue is that even if Luongo retires the cap hit is for the length of the contract, or is that wrong. If I am correct then you would have two goalies salaries on the roster for one spot. Not a good situation.
The Maple Leafs could always buyout Luongo, which reduces the cap hit. Otherwise, I am not sure how the cap hit is affected should Luongo retire, but I think the Maple Leafs would be on the hook for his salary, but not the cap hit. The bottom line is Burke has to weigh his options both in the short and long term and there are no easy answers. At the beginning of the summer I would have said no way Burke goes after Luongo, but when you consider where Reimer, Scriven and Ryannas are in terms of their development, how thin the UFA markets are getting and the fact that Burke is desperate to make the playoffs, Luongo may be his only viable option. The value of bringing Luongo into the fold is such that courting any potential UFA’s will be that much easier as Luongo has stature in the NHL and is a player that can elevate just about any NHL team from pretender to contender status. When you put it all together Luongo (even with his bloated contract) is an attractive option for Burke, so don’t be surprised if he pushes hard once the (if the) CBA is finally settled.
The cap hit only counts after retirement for contracts given to players over 35. This doesn’t apply to Luongo, as he was well below that age when he got his contract. However, there is a slim chance the new CBA may do something about cap-circumvention contracts, but it’s more likely they grandfather all these contracts in(Considering Shea Weber, Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, etc all have them), and simply add limitations to the length of new contracts.
But as per the previous CBA, when Luong retires, his contract does not count against the cap.
As a Canucks fan, I would be asking for Nazem Kadri(we need NHL ready forward prospects more than defenseman), Tim Connolly, and a first roun pick conditional on the Leafs making the playoffs, or it becomes a second.
Luongo at 33 years old is not too bad for a goaltender; Tim Thomas won the cup at 38, Brodeur took his team to the finals at 40.
And Luongo’s contract is often misunderstood. The lack of a NMC means that whenever the management feel Luongo has outstayed his welcome, they can bury his contract in the minors(of course, he’s much more likely to retire before then).
In the meantime you get a top 5-10 goaltender in the league at a bargain cap hit of 5.3 mil. Compared to Lehtonen at 6 mil, or Bryzgalov at 5.7 mil, both of whom are inferior goaltenders, and then look at comparable talent like Carey Price at 6.5, his cap hit is excellent.
I agree with much of your comment. I too feel Lou has 3-4 good years left and as big as his contract is there are ways out. The reality is few teams make the playoffs without a good goalie, Burke needs Luongo, Luongo needs a place to play= good match!
…as usual, originating from back there, an article that starts as a reasoned and considered assessment of the relative value of players and the respective needs of a couple of teams shifts abruptly and devolves into lunacy… Connolly for Lou? why don’t you suggest we throw in Kesler to sweeten the deal… I mean its Connolly and his 36 points for god’s sake…
Lu needs serious coaching,he has the body and the determination,he just drifts off his task…
If you had paid attention to what I suggested, which you so obviously did not, I also threw in a second round pick and one of Toronto’s top defensive prospects, not just Connolly. Luongo’s contract is huge, so any team trading for him will try to send salary the other way to balance things out. The proposed deal is a combination of quality (Blacker), futures (second rounder) and compromise (sending Connolly’s one-year contract to Vancouver so Burke can adjust his cap for next season so he can take on Luongo’s salary. Vancouver could bury Connolly in the minors, buy him out, whatever it takes to send Lou packing. If Luongo’s contract was reasonable Gillis could get a boatload for him, as it stands, Luongo’s contract is a real sticking point, and that is why the return will be average at best. Look around at some of the deals involving high-salaried players, most of the return are underwhelming, the return for Luongo will be in that same category. What are your expectations? What do you see Gillis landing for Luongo? And please don’t say Gardiner and a first rounder or Rielly, it ain’t happening! Looking forward to your trade proposal….
Luongo will benefit from a change of scenery. To be fair, Florida is the better fit, but Toronto needs a player of his ilk, and I really think Burke will go hard after him.
… sorry Mark, but including a late 2nd round pic from three years ago, no matter where he currently places in the Leaf’s depth chart hardly makes this a package deal. The Canucks have several late round gems on the farm who project at least as much upside as Blacker … as for burying Connolly in the minors … let Burke do it …. I doubt that Gillis would do any deal that doesn’t include at least one blue chip prospect ( meaning 1st rounder) coming back this way …. the problem with Gillis dealing with the Leafs is that the only three prospects that seem to qualify Kadri, Colborne and Ashton can’t seem to crack the lineup even in Toronto… what chance would they have here? … while one of these guys would, in my opinion have to be a part of the package there is a high probability that they, like Schroeder will never quite put it together …. the bottom line is that regardless of much the Leafs need the ninth best goalie in the league there really doesn’t seem to be anything useful that the Leafs would part with …. I’ll take a stand and say if Burke offers up Franson and Colborne the deal gets done, if not Lu goes to Florida….
@[647924463:2048:Roy Shields] hey Roy… you think Lu needs a different goalie coach? If he does it’ll have to come with a different organization … I agree with Mark that Lu needs a change but I actually think TO is a better fit than Florida … just a matter of working out a hockey deal instead of a salary dump …
Franson is an RFA, so until Burke re-signs him he is kinda off the table. As for parting with Colborne, the Maple Leafs biggest need in the minds of many is at centre. Colborne is still developing, so I am not so sure Burke will want to let him go—at least not yet anyways. In the end this deal will be as much about dumping Luongo’s salary as it will be about the return. Opening up $5.3 million in cap for the next ten years is a huge return in itself, that is why Gillis will probably have to settle for a paltry return. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Connolly, a second and Blacker is what Gillis will settle on I threw it out there as a starting point for all of us to debate. It’s funny, I spoke to another Vancouver fan online today, he also brought up the name of Franson….maybe he is the key??? Florida is retooling on the fly, so I do not see their offer being substantially better than anything Burke can offer up for Louongo. Perhaps Burke could swap first rounders with the Canucks and add in a prospect? If it took Colborne I would be ok with that…time will tell, right? Cheers!
… several things about Franson should make him attractive to the Canucks, though I’ve yet to hear Gillis mention him and of course he’s kinda slow but he has size, he’s mean and he’s a right hand shot who can score and more over could be expected to sign at a rate that won’t disrupt the Canucks pay scale ( the big knock on Schenn ) and bonus feature is that he’s a BC boy .. all told an up grade on Alberts … also Franson doesn’t really seem to fit into Burke’s plans … a package including Franson has potential to be a win win deal … as for Colborne, I know the Leafs need centers, most teams do, but as I suggested there seem to be real question marks respecting his development … I doubt Burke considers him that untouchable ….
Franson, mean? What games have you been watching? He’s got 68 PIM’s in just under 200 NHL games and I cannot recall a single highlight real hit or a fight over that span.
Franson is a third pairing defenseman who struggles in his own end and is marginal at reading the play. He has good offensive instincts, but with just 19 goals over his career he’s not exactly the second coming of Paul Coffey! I just don’t know why everyone seems to have a “chub” over Franson?
Franson fits into Burke’s plans because we have no idea if Blacker, Reilly or Stuart is ready yet. As soon as one of those kids steps up (like Jake Gardiner did last season) Franson will be in the press box or playing more marginal minutes.
Could Franson surprise us this season? Sure, but he is never going to be a top-four D-man with the Maple Leafs.
I think you are undervaluing what Jesse Blacker (6’2″, 190) brings to the table.
Blacker has far more upside than Franson IMO. The kid is a gifted defenseman with good offensive upside and a tremendous compete level. Here is what Hockey’s Future had to say about him:
“Blacker has a solid positional game and can play in a variety of roles. He rarely is caught out of position and is starting to read the play more effectively. He is a powerful skater (this is key in today’s NHL) and loves to rush the puck up the ice. His offensive game has taken major steps forward over the last few seasons as he’s become one of the OHL’s top defenders”.
Blacker also had a very solid first season at the AHL level, notching one goal and adding 15 assists, while positing a plus-8 rating. Injuries (shoulder, oblique, neck) set him back some last season, but still good numbers and his overall play was very strong. He’ll get top-four minutes at the AHL level this season.
Blacker is ranked number two amongst Toronto’s defensive prospects and the Leafs’ fourth best overall, just behind Colborne and Reilly.
So, you want two of Toronto’s top-five prospects for Luongo? Not gonna happen!
I have watched Blacker play live about 6-7 times. He’s smart, fast and fiercely competitive—everything you want in a prospect.
To tell you the truth, I am starting to think Blacker is too much—maybe I should re-write this article and throw Percy’s name out there!…lol…
Franson “is what he is” and will struggle to be anything other than a 5th-7th D-man at the NHL level. Blacker can (and probably will be) a top-four D-man in the NHL. He really is that good!
Interesting scenario. The ultimate question, of course, is the degree to which this will be a hockey trade vs. a salary dump. Canuck fans want the hockey trade, Leaf fans want the salary dump. IF any deal goes down, value will fall somewhere in the middle. The article offers a reasonable take on that ‘middle’, imo. Personally, as a Leaf fan, I don’t want Lu. Not any disrespect to him or his value as a hockey player, but I support the youth movement and have the patience to see it through. I just don’t think Luongo fits.
Lunacy is right. Connolly isn’t wanted anywhere and Gillis sure isn’t going to ruin his well constructed salary cap team by taking him. Franson wouldn’t crack the Nuck lineup. They let better D men walk this off season. Blacker as a ‘key’ part of the deal? Really?
Gillis has stated the Buds have a couple assets that get the deal done. He is obviously talking Gardinier and Rielly….not even being subtle about it. Luongo is now rated #9 in the NHL and has a cap friendly contract that a rich team can buy out when he retires. The cap hits for a bunch of other goalies are higher and some are rated lower.
You simply won’t see Luongo in TO without 1 of those 2 going the other way. Writing fantasy articles pumping other prospects isn’t going to change it. Go spend your pennies on another goalie gamble like the last couple years. However Burke is running out of time as GM and he knows it. Might be time to do something different…like pay a fair price for a top goalie.
Connoly Blacker and a 2nd rounder? I highly doubt that one.
Not one of those pieces makes the Canucks better now – which means Gillis has no incentive to trade Luongo. He’s better off cap wise and player wise to keep Luongo.
I see Colborne or Kadri, + roster player + 1st or 2nd round pick. A cap dump isn’t likely to happen unless there is an amnesty clause in the new CBA.
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