There's no doubt that the biggest name on the trade market in the NHL this upcoming season is Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, and the rumor mills are churning just before the start of the regular season.
As the Canucks prepare for the delayed start to the 2012-13 season, general manager Mike Gillis conceded he's in talks with teams about Luongo, according to Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.
But Gillis also said in the report that the team is in "no hurry" to trade their All-Star goalie and he can see the benefits of having a player of Luongo's caliber on the roster due to the wear and tear of a condensed season on netminders.
Although, the brunt of talk centers around which teams are inquiring about the 33-year-old, according to The Fourth Period, those teams are the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks.
The Fourth Period also stated that the Oilers are more so looking for a defender than a goalie, while the Canucks would prefer not to send their former star to Chicago.
Perhaps the team most in contention for Luongo's services could be the Flyers. TSN's James Duthie confirmed that Philadelphia is indeed interested in calling on Luongo to shore up their massive goaltending problems.
Despite some denials, the tweet earlier from @enricociccone is accurate.The Flyers are interested in Roberto Luongo.— james duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) January 10, 2013
The Flyers also have plenty of young talent with high potential that could woo the Canucks into a deal.
Another team that has been at the center of the Luongo speculation is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who recently fired general manager Brian Burke and hired Dave Nonis. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun wonders if Burke's public reluctance to pursue Luongo led to his dismissal.
The Luongo-to-Toronto storyline is certainly one to keep a close eye on, as Nonis acquired Luongo during his time as Vancouver's GM. During Burke's tenure as the Leafs general manager the team was last in the league in goals against per game.
But the season draws nearer and teams have much more to focus on than pursuing trades. The reality is sinking in that Vancouver may be stuck with their well-paid backup who lost his starting spot to Cory Schneider last season.
Regardless, there are plenty of teams interested, and if a deal isn't made the speculation will heat up more and more heading into the season.
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