Just because we are stalled in the midst of another lockout that has the potential to ruin the regular season, doesn’t mean the rumor mill quits turning. For weeks we’ve heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in the Vancouver Canucks netminder, Roberto Luongo and the former all-star has even addressed the media about the possibility of heading to Toronto. But a new report has surfaced out of Edmonton that has the Oilers poised to make a huge deal once a new CBA deal is worked out. Could Roberto Luongo be on the Oilers radar?
According to TheFourthPeriod.com, Bob Stauffer who is an Oilers radio analyst and host of Oilers Now on 630 CHED claims there will be a “wow factor move” forthcoming from the so called City of Champions. The division rivals have shown interest in Luongo in the past and with the aging Nikolai Khabibulin not getting any younger, or injury free for that matter, solidifying a legitimate number one goalie should be high on the priority list for the Oil (legit number one in the regular season, not the postseason).
Devin Dubnyk has been relied upon over the past couple of seasons to carry the majority of the workload with Khabibulin often dealing with injuries, but the youngster is likely not the solution to a stacked roster full of young weapons, ready to make a run at not only the playoffs, but perhaps the Cup. Hence the need for a guy like Luongo, although his age and playoff performance certainly leave something to be desired.
The Oilers do have Ales Hemsky that they have used as trade bait over the past few seasons and surely they’d be willing to part ways with him if the right offer came along. Vancouver would require a lot more than just a 29-year old that scored only ten goals last season and only 31 over the past three seasons combined. Not to mention he just signed a new contract for two years at $5 million per season, which calculates out to $50,000 per goal. Yes, the Oilers would have to throw in a highly sought after prospect I’m thinking to catch Vancouver’s ear.
There is also the argument that Vancouver may want to stay clear of dealing Luongo to a divisional opponent, something that could hinder their chances of playoff positioning. Which is why a deal with the Maple Leafs makes the most sense as Luongo would not only be out of the division but out of the Western Conference as well. The only way Luongo could hurt his former club would be if they met in the Stanley Cup finals and all hockey fans know what the chances are of seeing the Leafs in the Cup final.
So here we sit with the potential to have yet another Northeast divisional powerhouse threatening the Wild’s chances at a divisional crown, at least on paper, and we are forced to wait out the lockout before anything can officially happen. One thing is for sure, when the lockout does end we should see a plethora of activity among teams trying to prepare themselves for a shortened season and a crack at the playoffs. Game on, hopefully soon anyway.
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