In reading some of the things on TSN’s “Insider Trading” yesterday I thought this might be a good time to follow up on that and just look at the places some of these guys could land IF they move on. Now, I have no inside knowledge at all but I am considering offering Bob McKenzie a share of Soups on Sports once his contract is up at TSN. A lucrative offer like that…don’t know how he shoots it down.
Starting with Tim Thomas. I can’t see him retiring. I know he is 38, but this guy doesn’t have the wear and tear on him that a guy like Marty Brodeur has. Thomas is still going to be an elite level goaltender thanks to his unpredictable style. My educated guess is that Thomas ends up in Tampa Bay. Only a year left on his deal, Tampa needs a goaltender, Thomas is very tight with Marty St.Louis, and Yzerman has shown that he prefers veteran goaltenders.
Also, the Lightning have two 1st round picks this season and a boat load of 2nd’s. Their system should be LOADED after the draft giving them the flexibility to make a deal with Boston. Thomas has a NTC but I’m certain Tampa would be high on his list.
If there was another good landing spot for Thomas it would be Detroit. Again only one year left on his deal, Boston would likely prefer to deal him out of the conference, he is a Michigan born guy, and Detroit could stand to upgrade their goaltending. But Ken Holland has never liked to sink a lot of money into his goaltending. He has the cap room but would likely spend the money elsewhere.
Next we have the always entertaining Roberto Luongo. More so entertaining off the ice, but never the less…the Canucks are going to be extremely limited here. Some have suggested to the Leafs for the 5th pick, if Burke does that he should be fired before Bettman announces the deal. There is absolutely no need for the Leafs to pay that much for a guy that the Canucks will be limited on places they can ship him.
The other end of this however is that Brian Burke is very much so against contracts that Luongo currently has. I could see Dave Nonis (the man that brought Luongo toVancouver) talking Burke into it. If I had to guess what it would cost the Leafs, perhaps Luke Schenn in a 1 for 1? The Leafs have d-men to move, Schenn would bring the Canucks toughness and character they lack, and the Leafs then would only be adding 1.7 mil extra cap hit for the next 4 seasons.
Now, Tampa Bay is another possibility but rumours out this week were that Tampa Bay wouldn’t have interest in Lou because of the contract. That still remains to be seen but they do have a lot of money tied up in their big three and won’t be moving Vinny anywhere likely ever. The darkhorse team in this for me is the San Jose Sharks.
The last one I’m going to discuss in this blog is one that I personally haven’t seen anyone talk about yet…Martin Brodeur. Might be putting myself way out there on this one, definitely not suggesting it will happen. But I do see a scenario where it could happen, it’s really up to Marty. You see the Devils ownership situation is a total mess. They will be a cap floor team next season. Zach Parise is all but gone, and you hear some people suggesting “well, maybe this will convince him to stay”. No. He’s gone. They can’t pay him anything because of some other big contracts they already have. Unless Lou Lamoriello did something drastic like dealt Kovalchuk, Parise won’t be back. Add to that Lou knows more than anyone that you don’t need one or two superstars, you need a TEAM.
Now back to Marty. If he wants any kind of money this offseason the Devils might not be able to give it to him. Talk of him retiring is kind of ridiculous because he has stated on the record multiple times that he wants to come back. If he still wants to play and the Devils can’t afford him where does that leave him? That leaves him in another uniform…may I suggest Detroit? If not Detroit, like the others, Tampa Bay would be a pretty perfect fit and he does have a relationship with Yzerman dating back to when they were roomates in the 98 Olympics.
One more thing that should be added to the Brodeur situation is that I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Lou stepped down after this run. He will turn 70 years old in October. With the ownership issues, Parise likely leaving, and Brodeur on his last legs, after going on this kind of run win or lose it could be the perfect time to exit stage left. If this happened I would say Brodeur is a lot more likely to leave rather than stay.
With these three superstar goaltenders futures in limbo it should make for a very interesting offseason in the goaltending market, and I didn’t even hit on Mikka Kiprusoff who’s NTC expires on July 1st or Jonathan Bernier who LA could finally move this offseason in a trade (the rich get richer). Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Toronto will all be teams at least interested in upgrading their goaltending and some of them might be desperate to.
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