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article imageRoberto Luongo to Islanders? Bob McKenzie puts it out there

By Marcus Hondro     May 31, 2013 in Sports
One of the great pleasures in being a sports fan is prognosticating about trades. Most fans do it. In the case of Roberto Luongo, who it seems has been on the trade market since the Maple Leafs last won the Cup, some have done it dozens of times.
But fans haven't done it as much as the media. We could link to dozens of stories of Luongo going places, to Toronto, to Tampa Bay, Chicago, even Edmonton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and, of course back to Florida. Now comes a new one - back to where it all began, back to the New York Islanders.
The Islanders drafted him in 1997 but took Rick Di Pietro first overall in the 2000 amateur draft and traded Luongo to Florida. Now that Di Pietro, who they signed to a regrettable 15 year contract that runs through 2020-01 at $4.5 million annually, is in the AHL (he still gets the $4.5 million) and Evgeni Nabokov is a UFA, they look to be looking for a goalie.
NHL trade rumor: McKenzie is the man
And none other than Mr. Bob McKenzie, the most followed hockey insider on Twitter, has brought the Isles into the picture. The team, moving to Brooklyn in 2015, MacKenzie has suggested in a series of tweets, would need Di Pietro's salary dumped in the process but if the Canucks could take on that, using one of two buy-outs all clubs have this off-season to jettison Di Pietro, then some youngsters may go Vancouver's way in the deal.
Here is a series of 4 McKenzie tweets on the subject (Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie):
1. It's believed NYI would, under right circumstances, have interest in VAN G Roberto Luongo, tho 1st order of biz is to gauge cost on Nabokov.
2. No question in my mind Luongo is a good "hockey" fit for NYI but whether Isles or Canucks could ever finesse a workable deal is the issue.
3. DiPietro's buyout is steep, $1.5M per year for next 16 years, not to be confused with Luongo's buyout #s: a shade over $1.5M x 18 years.
4. Nabokov is UFA. As for circumstances on Luongo, almost goes without saying it would mean VAN taking Rick DiPietro for compliance buyout.
Luongo and Islanders a nice fit
The Isles have young players they may be willing to deal and they sure could use a all-star caliber goalie to re-establish the franchise and give John Tavares someone to get excited about playing with. It's a club very much on the upswing and GM Garth Snow, having been one himself, knows that Luongo, who for all the media attention this past season in Vancouver, played great, could take them over the top.
Naturally a stumbling lock would be Canucks GM Mike Gillis taking on Di Pietro and talking his boss, owner Francesco Aquilini , into buying him out. The price? With what's remaining on the oft-injured Di Pietro's deal, Canucks ownership would have to shell out $1.5 million annually for 16 years, 24 million bucks. That's a lot of dough to get rid of someone you never had in the first place but if Gillies can get something significant coming the other way while saying goodbye to Luongo's equally lengthy contract, well, it's at least a possibility.
So then is McKenzie right? Did an someone in the Isles organization tell him such a move was being considered by Snow et all? It's the kind of trade speculation that will only be shown to have been true if it happens. But hey, Bob McKenzie didn't become Bob McKenzie by making stuff up.
More about Roberto luongo, New york islanders, jason botchford, Evgeni nabokov, Vancouver canucks
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