Roberto Luongo Or Bobby Ryan: Which Player Helps Toronto More?
Seemingly unable to lure a star free agent to Toronto this summer, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke still appears to be looking to add a player of significance.
The Maple Leafs always seem to be mentioned when a player is on the trading block, which can sometimes make fans scoff at any trade news, but both Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks continue to get a ton of print in the local rags, suggesting that there may be some validity to the trade talks this time around.
Originally thought to be willing to trade Luongo on the cheap, it now appears as if Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is playing hard ball with rival NHL general managers in an attempt to maximize his return on what he feels (despite a contract that will see Luongo over $50 million over the next ten years) is a dynamic player.
With Luongo, who registered a record of 31-14-8 with the Vancouver Canucks last season, making his off-season home in Florida the Florida Panthers look to be the veteran goaltender’s preferred destination. That said, outside of Florida, Toronto remains a legitimate trading partner for Loungo and Gillis as Burke has both the positional need and the cap space and monies with which to get a deal done.
Where the stumbling block seems to be is establishing a proper return for Luongo, which, whatever the case may be, Burke seems unwilling to meet thus far.
With Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer currently showing no side effects from last seasons injuries it appears as if he will be ready for the 2012-13 season. The question is, will Reimer simply be ready, or will he be ready to resume his starting role?
The fact is, contrary to Burke’s statement that he has all the confidence in the world that Reimer is a number one goaltender, he has no clue how Reimer will respond once he resumes his place as Toronto’s go-to netminder. Sitting in the on-deck circle should Reimer strike out is young Ben Scrivens, who, despite a nice season with the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies, is unproven at the NHL level.
It is that uncertainty with Reimer’s health and Scrivens’ inexperience that continues to fuel all the Luongo to Toronto rumors. While the deal is yet to come to fruition, there is still a good chance that Burke and Gillis will find a way to get a deal done by the start of the 2012-13 season.