Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Price For Luongo?

A chance at some fun.

Vancouver's not happy with their goalie either. Mike Boone link's to this article from CanWest, which suggests, among other things, trading Luongo for a goalie like (not specifically) Carey Price.

If I was Gainey, I would do this trade. Heck, I'd trade any young goalie (Varlamov, Fleury, Ward) for this guy.

My reasoning is this:

1) Yes, it's true that:
"The winning goaltenders of the Stanley Cup since the last time a "franchise" goaltender - Martin Brodeur in 2003 - backstopped the victorious team have been Khabibulin, Ward, Jean-Sébastien Giguère and Osgood, who has won two Cups already and could make it three this spring. Among the losing finalists' goalies have been Dwayne Roloson and Ray Emery."

However, you have to look at how many franchise goaltenders there even are. Given how few there are, I have a feeling that having someone as good as Luongo (provided you're not as organizationally pathetic as Florida) is probably enough to make the playoffs. He did get 9 shutouts this year (9 wins on his won, that is).

2) We already have Andrei Markov (Vancouver do not). He is signed for two more years and is at his prime. Markov in front of Luongo is better than he is in front of most. Heck, Komisarek might be decent again. Hamrlik would be more reliable. Gorges would probably thrive in an environment where he could afford to slip.

3) Having a franchise goalie fall in your lap is probably better than developing one. Developing a franchise goalie can be painful. He must get starts. He must learn lots. And what you get at the end is probably one contract at his zenith. Sign a guy at his zenith and you get the same thing without the learning. Where's the downside? It costs more, but there's value in being assured at one position like that.

Markov is our core, and he will be for 2 more years (possibly at most). Developing Price for 2/3 more years if it comes off burns those years after which point we have no guarantee of a top-notch defender.

What's more, our prospects are coming up duds, and we'd be lucky to pull a Markov out of the hat there. Fischer might never play a game, let alone be the big dream defender we thought he could be. McDonagh likely won't anchor a team like Chelios, despite the comparisons. That's our best depth, don't even ask about forwards...

Getting a top goalie in now, with Markov, would change our window of contention again. We should (health permtting) be in the game for the deep playoffs again. On top of that, it might actually help the UFA negotiations. Current Habs UFAs might be turned on by the move. League free agents might take notice too.

Chance of this being a straight up trade...

You'd have to think it's very very low. This is a Patrick Roy (not quite) for Jocelyn Thibault deal. Are trades like that made twice?

The chance of either team trading either guy is already miniscule, straight up would be highly unusual. I don't really see many packages sweetening this trade partnership either. It's sheer fantasy really, but is good fun for news-starved fans in the off season.

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