While we’re still 10 days away from the start of the 2013 NHL season (and you know, the ratification of the new CBA by both the NHL and the NHLPA) but that hasn’t stopped some trade speculation from filling the airwaves and social media.
Hell, your Grandmother probably knows.
The day started out with the same rumors that have been kicking around since the 2011-12 season ended.
The Canucks and the Leafs are working on a trade that would send Roberto Luongo to Toronto in exchange for God knows what. If Brian Burke had his way it would probably be Mike Komisarek and $15 Air Canada Centre beer.
However, that doesn’t seem likely now that Burke has been relieved of his duties of President and General Manager of the team. Like a punch in the dark, the Burke news caught a lot of people off guard.
While most people on my Twitter feed were shocked at the news of Brian Burke being fired, there were a few in the mainstream media who didn’t exactly share that sentiment.
Some believe that it was Burke’s reluctance to make a trade for Luongo that was the icing on the cake. Personally, I would have thought it was the four years of playoff-less hockey, the trading of two quality first round picks or the inability to land a starting goalie.
But hey, the Luongo stuff makes for some good shap, right?
Does Burke being out of the picture make it easier to make a trade?
What was surprising to me was the notion that the dismissal of Burke would only help in speeding up a trade between the teams. I mean, if you buy into the Burke was let go in part due to his reluctance to acquire Luongo, sure, but one should also take into account that the man replacing Burke for the second time in his career is none other than his former assistant and former Canucks GM, Dave Nonis.
The same Dave Nonis who brought Roberto Luongo to the Canucks back in 2006.
Jason Botchford of The Province gave his thoughts on what Burke being out of the picture may do for an eventual trade between the two teams.
Burke took a hardline approach that wasn’t exactly conducive to getting a deal for No. 1 done RT @eastvangrahn Please explain Botch
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) January 9, 2013
Makes a luongo to Toronto deal more likely RT @curtisandrews weigh in
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) January 9, 2013
Botch also said that the firing of Burke “May have greased the tracks enough to roll this trade train into the station within the next 72 hours.”
So is that it?
Is Roberto Luongo going to be the starting goalie for the
Centre of the Universe Toronto Maple Leafs? Possibly, but another team came into the mix Wednesday afternoon, or perhaps they were always in the mix and we didn’t know about it?
Maybe Vanilla Coke is just Coke with some plain vanilla extract in it? We may never know, but the one thing we do know now is that there is another team that isn’t the Maple Leafs or Florida Panthers.
Remember former Canuck enforcer Enrico Ciccone? He had a cup of coffee with the team in 1997-98, playing in 13 games, registering one assist and 47 penalty minutes.
Well on Wednesday he tweeted that the Philadelphia Flyers were interest in the services of Luongo.
Philadelphie égalment intéressé a Roberto selon une source chez les Flyers! Source in Phily say Flyers interested in Roberto!
— Enrico Ciccone (@EnricoCiccone) January 9, 2013
It’s not clear what Ciccone’s connection to Luongo is, if any at all, but Ciccone’s tweet was later backed up TSN’s James Duthie.
Despite some denials, the tweet earlier from @enricociccone is accurate.The Flyers are interested in Roberto Luongo.
— james duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) January 10, 2013
And then again by David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) January 10, 2013
So needless to say, it looks like the rumors of Luongo to Philadelphia are at least some what substantiated, despite Paul Holmgren (who I believe at one point traded me, I don’t really remember) and his denial that any such talks have taken place.
It’s interesting though that the Flyers have at least kicked the tires, I mean they had to have. There are three people who have now found a way to confirm that.
Where do we go from here?
There are a lot of questions as to what the Flyers would do with their current goalie, resident space case Ilya Bryzgalov, who is under contract until 2020.
What would the Flyers have to give up in order to acquire Luongo?
If Paul Holmgren is feeling the need to add another start goalie to his roster in a 48 game season to make a mad dash to the cup finals, then maybe this forces Toronto’s hand in upping their offer, as they’re in dire need to acquire a goalie who can take them into the playoffs.
It’s not certain that the Flyers did more than kick tires at this point, but it appears that they’ve done just that and it’s going to make the days leading up to camp and the regular season that much more interesting.