Here's a thought I have on the Lou situation in regards to a trade.....
The team, as it looks right now, is sitting with the top 6 forwards locked up for next year. There is maybe a single spot that could be up for grabs. Henrik, Daniel, Kesler, Burrows, and Booth, are all pretty much slotted into the top 6. Raymond and Higgins have been alternating up and down this year, and Higgins certainly is the better of the two players, and it sounds like chances are very good that Raymond is gone at year's end.
More and more it seems that what our top 6 really needs is a playmaking skater who can gel with Kesler and Booth, and since they are apparently reluctant to move Kes to the wing, that means it has to be a winger. I sometimes see flashes from Burrows that make me think he could be that guy, the stuff he has picked up from playing with Henrik and Daniel has really helped the 2nd PP unit, and I've seen some really nice ideas from him when it comes to setting up linemates. Without him though, I think the Sedin line chemistry would really suffer in the longterm.
We now have Kassian in the system, and hopes are high that he will evolve into a top 6 forward. From what we've seen he has the tools to do that, and right now the thing that holds him back the most is his fitness level. He seems to wane in the third period and often doesn't see much ice time after 40 minutes. I love that he's a right-handed shot, and once he's upped his endurance, and really syched into the Canuck's system, I think he should be getting PP minutes with the Sedin's and we go from there with him. This probably won't happen until next year, although I won't be surprised to see this tried in the playoffs if the Twins are getting abused on the PP.
Looking at a deal in the sunshine state.....
The only forward I want from either the Panther's or the Bolt's is Stamkos, and we know that Tampa is not letting him go. Lecavalier would be decent, but again, a center who doesn't fit the third line role, is grossly overpaid, and, in all likelihood, would have to be willing to move to the wing if he wanted to slot into the top 6. Regardless I'm opposed to Lecavalier's contract in terms of both dollar value and length versus production and consistency.
The Canuck's real need is on the blueline, and therein lay the problem with a potential Luongo trade. If the team is trying to move him back to Florida, then we won't see any kind of return that would be usable in the immediate future. Neither Florida nor Tampa have a blueliner that they would be willing to part with who is good enough, affordable, or the right age for the team. I don't want to see either of Ohlund or Jovanovski coming back. Campbell is still a financial Albatross. Brewer isn't "too old", and his salary is workable at $3.8M, but he has a NMC, which he would probably waive to come to a contender, but I have often thought he was a bit over-rated. I don't think that Keith Aulie is going to turn into the defenseman that everyone thinks he will, and we know that Hedman is not going to be moved. Florida has a couple of young defensemen in the lineup right now, but they would be foolish to move them at this point.
The only way I can see a deal getting done with Tampa is if it brings back a couple of prospects and a couple of 1st round picks. The only benefit I see in this would be if we then packaged up Ballard with a high pick and a prospect and dealt him for someone. Ideally it would be great to get that deal [Luongo] done on draft-day, and then, assuming that Weber or Suter want to leave Nashville, approach them with Ballard, and a couple of picks (2 R1's for Weber, a R1 and R2 for Suter). I think much of this will depend on how Nashville does in the playoffs, if they are out in the 1st round or see a quick exit in the 2nd, chances are those guys will be looking at leaving. Nashville has been given the green light from the owners to spend to the cap and build a contender, but when I look at the upcoming UFA's, they don't have much to chase unless they want to stock up on players in the 33+ age range. So that could be an option, but I'm dreaming a bit eh.
There are other team's back east, I know, but you have to think that Luongo's list isn't going to be more than a handful of teams (5 at most).