Could a deal be in the works?
While reading Mike's blog, I started thinking. Seemingly, something is going on within the Leafs organisation, no one is hurt, as Mike's blog said, "All three goaltenders took part in practice today, so it's difficult to suggest an injury is there.". Alright, so yes there's potential Gustavsson or Giguere could have tweaked something, may not be 100%. But when, they've barely played since Reimer went back down. 2 games since then.
As hard as it could be to believe, Burke is a man of opportunity. Sedin's? Opportunity. Detroit clearly wanting a proven, veteran goaltender in Nabokov, and with Howard pretty much ready to step up to a starter role... Opportunity. Islanders also in desperate need of a proven net-minder, I repeat... opportunity.
In Detroit, the need is there for a goaltender. On a team plagued by injury, their top netminder, Chris Osgood is injured, and not to mention coming to the end of his career. That leaves them either shopping for a short term, proven goalie to help carry them into the playoffs, or letting it play out, and finding a back-up for Howard next season. Eric Lacy, of "The Detroit News", interviewed Osgood, and Osgood talked about his career.
"Speaking softly and walking with a limp, Red Wings veteran goaltender Chris Osgood hinted Saturday that his career could be coming to an end." (Eric Lacy)
"We'll see what happens," ... "It's kind of an unknown zone for me." (Chris Osgood)
Osgood probably won't be back this season, and there's not a huge amount of reliability for what looks like it's shaping up to be another potentially successful cup run. Giguere could fit that role. The only problem is the cap, there isn't enough room for a 6.500m salary, and they would even venture into giving back the equivalent in salary, especially with the players it would take.
So could that leave them thinking back-up for Howard next season? There's no doubt Howard is an outstanding goaltender. Gustavsson would be a great fit in Detroit, as the team is full of Swedes, and has a great history for developing players. Would the price be substantial? Probably not, would it cost them though? Probably. Gustavsson will blossom, he'll be a started presumably, and if not, a great back-up.
Gustavsson has a very friendly cap hit, at 1.350m for the rest of this season and the next, after that he becomes a UFA. That would give them stability, and enough time to figure out their goalie sitaution should they not intend on keeping Gustavsson. Also, they could really use to shed some cap, as they are above the league salary cap right now, and a team like Detroit wouldn't be able to keep the core, and work around the penalty.
Now to the Islanders. They don't have a promising situation either. They cannot rely on Lawson and Poulin to be backups yet, and they are also clearly looking for a proven netminder, as they tried to pick Nabokov up, but it doesn't seem he'll play. They have more than enough cap space for Giguere, but also have a lot of big names to resign... including Moulson, Schremp, Bailey, Comeau, Hillen, and Gervais.
The Islanders are in the correct market for both Gustavsson and Giguere, and have exactly the right pieces to move in order to acquire one of the two. The Islanders could also be in the market for another top 4 defenceman, creating even more potential for a deal, as it seems at this point, Komisarek and Kaberle are both expendable.
I really do not believe, that Reimer was called up for the sole purpose of getting wins for Toronto, especially this close to the deadline. This seems to be the time Burke likes to start talks, and it seems suspicious that one of the biggest stories within the Leafs organistion, and just taken another twist.
Mike Aldred's article: