Patrick: After another disappointing season for Toronto, GM Brian Burke finds himself searching for an elite starting goaltender. The Leafs were 29th in goals against last season and must improve dramatically if they want to play hockey in late April.
One name that has been floating around is Roberto Luongo, the goalie for the Vancouver Canucks. After signing young phenom Cory Schneider to a 3 year, $12 million contract, Luongo became expendable for a Canucks team that has always been a piece or two away from winning the Cup.
Toronto have a lot of assets to offer in a trade which include Nazem Kadri, Carl Gunnarsson, Jake Gardiner, Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak, and a pile of draft picks as well.
The main issue with Luongo isn't his skill but his contract. The Canadian netminder still has a whopping ten years left on his deal, with an average cap hit of over $5 million. While he might help the Leafs out in the beginning, it's hard to imagine a 40 year old goalie deserving north of $5 mil.
Travis: There isn't another player in the NHL that gets more unfair criticism than Roberto Luongo. As a Bruins fan, I am proud to remind everyone that the Canucks were only one game away from winning the Stanley Cup two years ago. In those finals Luongo had two shutouts, and although he got torched in two of Vancouver's losses, in the Canucks four losses they scored a whopping 3 goals total.
As for the question of if the Leafs should trade for him, I think you can answer this in two ways.
I definitely think Brian Burke should trade for Luongo. If Burke doesn't win soon he won't be hanging around the Air Canada Centre for much longer, so why not grab a #1 goalie and put your team in position to at last make the playoffs and keep your job.
Now, should the Leafs trade for Luongo? Maybe. It's definitely risky. You're stuck with a bad contract for a long time but you also get a #1 goalie and finally solve the goaltending carousel in Toronto. Also, if they do indeed pass on Luongo where are they going to find a #1 goalie? James Reimer and Ben Scrivens probably are not the answer and there are not many teams willing to dump a #1 goalie.