Archive for April, 2012

Could Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner Be On Brian Burke’s Radar?

April 30th, 2012 9 Comments

With rumors swirling around the internet and the daily rags about Roberto Luongo’s future with the Vancouver Canucks and a possible trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs, I couldn’t help but think back to last summer’s UFA signings and how they panned out for their respective teams. Sure, big trades and big signings are what drives the headlines, but what about the smaller, less sexy moves? How do they fit into the equation? While not the most popular signings, sometimes a teams depth moves prove to be the best ones of the off-season, which brought to mind two players for me. The players in question would be a pair of veterans who, while probably well past their prime, have made invaluable contributions to the St. Louis Blues organization, throughout the regular season and the playoffs. Known for their leadership and


Roberto Luongo Asks To Be Traded: Did Toronto Make The List?

April 26th, 2012 7 Comments

Several sources are reporting that Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has asked to be traded. While it may be true that Luongo “wants” to be traded, the Vancouver Province is reporting that Luongo has, in fact, not given Canucks general manager Mike Gillis a list of teams that he would be willing to be traded to. “We’ve met, but we’ve decided we’ll take our time and talk in the next few days over the phone,” Gillis said in a the Team 1040 interview today. “I think we all need to take a deep breath. The early exit from the playoffs, not meeting our expectations, can lead you to make some pretty poor decisions in a real hurry.” Early reports had the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers making Luongo’s short list as teams he would be willing


Roberto Luongo: Will He Be A Toronto Maple Leaf?

April 24th, 2012 25 Comments

A few weeks ago Toronto Maple Leafs general manager held his year end press conference with the media to discuss the 2011-12 season and the direction he plans on taking the Maple Leafs. During that press conference Burke made it abundantly clear that he wanted to make an upgrade between the pipes, which will likely see Jonas Gustavsson let go and James Reimer stay with the big club with an additional netminder being brought in to solidify the goaltending position. As we have discussed here in other articles, there are very few goaltending options for Burke via free agency this summer, which means, if Burke is going to upgrade one of his goalies at the AHL level will have to shine during the pre-season or, more likely, Burke will have to acquire a goaltender via trade. Anytime you talk about


Is There Enough Cap Space For Brian Burke To Make A Key UFA Signing?

April 21st, 2012 7 Comments

According to, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has a total of $56.7 million wrapped up in 17 players for the 2012-13 season. Based on a salary cap of $64.3 million that leaves Burke with about $7.6 million with which to fill out his roster. Burke has already hinted at the fact that he will be looking to make an upgrade between the pipes but with few options available via the free agent market Burke will likely have to find his goaltender via the trade route. One would have to think any goalie worth his weight would have to cost Burke at least $1.5 million. That said, Burke could chose to spend more than $1.5 million on a new goaltender, but with little wiggle room, there is every reason to believe Burke will continue to attempt to address


The “Monster” Will Not Be Back—What Are Brian Burke’s Goaltending Options?

April 15th, 2012 14 Comments

If you watched Brian Burke’s press conference last week one thing became very clear—Jonas “the monster” Gustavsson will not be back with the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. The goaltender Burke once called “the best goalie not playing in the NHL” has been nothing short of mediocre since joining the Maple Leafs in 2009-10. Through 107 career NHL games, Gustavsson assembled a 39-45-15 record to go along with a 2.92 goals against average and a paltry .902 save percentage. Gusatvsson had 17 of those wins this season (a career high) but outside of the four shutouts he earned, you never really got the feeling he was a legitimate number one goaltender. With James Reimer on the shelf for much of the season Gustavsson was given every opportunity to snatch the starters role from Reimer’s hands. Instead, Gustavsson looks to have


NHL Entry Draft Position Gives Burke Plenty Of Options

April 11th, 2012 2 Comments

Tuesday night the NHL held it’s annual NHL Entry Draft Lottery. For the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets it was a disappointing night, as they dropped from number one overall to second overall as the Edmonton Oilers emerged as the winner of the lottery making it three straight seasons that the Oilers will select first overall at the draft. The Oilers good fortune aside, the rest of the order remained the same, which means Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke will select fifth overall. With the fifth pick in this summers draft, Burke has plenty of options available to him. Burke could look to move up in the draft, he could attempt to acquire some additional draft picks by moving down, he could flat out trade the pick away, or he could stick with the number five pick.

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