You can cross the Toronto Maple Leafs off the list of potential destinations for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.
The Maple Leafs picked up goaltender Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings today in exchange for winger Matt Frattin, goaltender Ben Scrivens, and a second round pick in 2014 or 2015. This trade solidifies the Leafs goaltending next season with a tandem of Bernier and James Reimer.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances where the Maple Leafs want to trade Reimer to the Canucks, Luongo won’t be going to Toronto. What are the remaining destinations for Luongo?
Joe Yerdon of ProHockeyTalk lists the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers as the remaining possible destinations.
The Islanders and Panthers both have a 23 year old goaltender in their system that might benefit from the presence of Luongo. The Islanders have Kevin Poulin and the Panthers have Jacob Markstrom. Having a goaltender like Luongo will allow both teams to be patient and give them a veteran to learn from.
Mike Smith is a pending unrestricted free agent for the Coyotes. They could be in the market for a new starting goaltender if the team is sold and moved to Seattle.
Another team that might have interest is the Minnesota Wild. Their starter Niklas Backstrom is an unrestricted free agent on July 5 and Wild owner, Craig Leipold, did not give exactly a glowing endorsement in an interview with the Minnesota Star-Tribune (via ProHockeyTalk).
Rather than saying the team had full confidence in Backstrom as the team’s number one goaltender, Leipold said they were “not uncomfortable.”
The Canucks and Wild won’t be in the same division next season when they move to the four division, two conference format, so the Wild are a possible trade partner.
The Luongo trade situation is expected to come to a head in the next couple of weeks.