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Amidst reports of Mattias Ohlund retiring and Roberto Luongo being on the trading block, I have a plea for the Vancouver Canucks and their fans to read, and take in. Call me sentimental, call me old-fashioned, but this could work out incredibly well for both sides. Tampa Bay Lightning fans had great reason to be happy when the Bolts signed Mattias Ohlund a couple years ago. He is the consummate professional and everything you could ever want in a leader. When Markus Naslund left the Canucks, many thought that Ohlund should take the captaincy. Unfortunately, knee injuries have absolutely de-railed Ohlund’s career. The intention of this blog is not to have it sound exactly like my last one; the intention of this blog is to make a proposition.

To Vancouver
Mattias Ohlund
1st Round Draft Pick (Detroit)

To Tampa Bay
Roberto Luongo

Before anyone starts jumping up and down and crying because this is an “underpayment” for Roberto Luongo, let me take a second to explain. This deal is completely contingent on Mattias Ohlund retiring the second he lands in Vancouver. If that isn’t going to happen, there’s no deal to be made here. Essentially, the Canucks are ridding themselves of Roberto’s cap hit, taking no salary back and getting a mid-first round draft pick in exchange for that. With the saved cap space, the Canucks would have room to sign Cory Schneider AND go after a big name free agent like Parise or Suter. It seems like a WIN for the Vancouver Canucks on the business side of the ledger. Now consider the sentimental side of things.

When Mattias Ohlund left the Canucks, it was a sad day for anyone who followed his career. A career long Canuck up until that point, Ohlund meant a lot to the city of Vancouver. His work in the community, his incredible on ice play and his ability to connect with people were just some of the qualities that engraved him in the hearts of Vancouver fans. For many, his departure signaled the end of an era with the Vancouver Canucks’ franchise. Gone was the era of the West Coast Express; its final candle had been dimmed. Looking back on things, the Canucks had arguably the most exciting hockey team in the National Hockey League for a long while. That group had it all. Unfortunately, they were never able to put it all together and win the big prize. Even then, it’s hard to discount the individual achievements of the likes of Naslund, Bertuzzi, Ohlund, Jovanovski and many others. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks owe it to Mattias to allow him to retire a Vancouver Canuck. He is, and always will be, a Canuck and he deserves to leave hockey with the organization that drafted him.

It’s not often you see deals like this happen. These sorts of things only happen for really, really special individuals; Mattias Ohlund is an incredible player, but more importantly, an incredible person. From the Vancouver Canucks’ perspective, this deal makes perfect sense. On the Tampa Bay Lightning side of things, well, it’s not hard to see that this deal is absolutely spot-on. The Bolts get rid of Ohlund’s contract the right, and moral, way and also acquire the franchise goaltender they are looking for. It sounds pretty good to me.

Anyways. It’s my hope that fans on both sides can understand the sentimental value of what could transpire with this sort of deal. Dare I say that I might shed a tear if this goes through?

Thanks for reading.
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   vancouver   canucks   mattias   ohlund  
May 12, 2012 12:28 PM ET | Delete
Couldn't agree more Michael. Ohlund was a warrior and a force for the Canucks. It would work out great for both sides I think.
May 13, 2012 11:06 AM ET | Delete
Isn't Ohlund considering retirement? I would imagine Lou is worth more than a late 1st, although not by much. I gotta think a team like Chicago or TML can beat that offer.
May 13, 2012 12:33 PM ET | Delete
May 13, 2012 12:36 PM ET | Delete
Perhaps Tokarski and another decent prospect like Panik AFTER the AHL playoffs.
May 13, 2012 12:48 PM ET | Delete
BleedingHab: This deal would be attractive to the Canucks BECAUSE Ohlund is retiring. That's the only way the deal would go through. Let him retire a Canuck, lose Roberto's cap hit, sign Schneider and still have room to go after a Suter or Parise. Most other deals proposed have the Canucks taking on a big cap hit contract. Perhaps that doesn't interest them.
May 13, 2012 1:38 PM ET | Delete
What would make Toronto a more atractive team anyway? Luongo has his option where he goes and not sure he would want to go from the frying pan to the fire as far. Tampa is his best option as for many of reasons. I think the trade would be nice for both Tampa and the Nucks but i think Tokarski would have to be thrown in there as well.
May 13, 2012 1:43 PM ET | Delete
I've got no problem throwing Tokarski in there. If the Bolts acquire Luongo, I don't have a huge problem drafting Vasilevski either.
May 13, 2012 2:05 PM ET | Delete
Although a noble idea this reads a bit too Hollywood for me. Ohlund can have his jersey retired in VAN regardless if he retires there or not. No need to take a lesser deal for sentimental reasons. The biggest question of the summer: what sort of offers is Gillis hearing for Lu. None of us would know that, so your speculation is as good as mine.
May 13, 2012 2:10 PM ET | Delete
The Canucks are still in a win now mode. What makes you think that someone won't overpay to get Luongo. Do you honestly believe the best they can get for him is mid to late 1st round pick in an ok draft? I'm not oppose to your idea in fact i think it would be the best course of action but there is always that one team that will give up way more than they need to get Luongo (my guess is the leafs).
May 13, 2012 2:44 PM ET | Delete
I completely agree sabresfan, but perhaps Mike Gillis will realize the valuable nature of the cap space saved with this sort of deal. Trading with Toronto doesn't do any good if the Canucks have to take back a Mike Komisarek or Matthew Lombardi.
May 13, 2012 3:28 PM ET | Delete
Never happen. Gillis will take the best offer for Luongo and he may be packaged up with another player(s). Hearing quite a bit about Toronto as being the destination of choice. The Canucks window is starting to close, a late first round pick does not make sense as it does not help us now. Probably will be a younger big D roster with player and or prospects and a pick coming back from the winning bid. Tampa is not going to be the only player in this game . (agree with Sabres fan)
May 13, 2012 6:07 PM ET | Delete
What's Toronto going to offer the Canucks?
May 13, 2012 6:12 PM ET | Delete
Good idea.. but too low a price... maybe throw in one of tampas multiple 2nd rounders and its more feasable
May 13, 2012 7:37 PM ET | Delete
I'd throw in two of the four 2nd rounders if that would get it done.
May 13, 2012 9:14 PM ET | Delete
If I'm vancover and didn't get a better offer, I would be happy to take a 15-22 pick and two second rounders to unload that contract... use a little of the money saved to sign a vet back up (clemmonson / hedburg / etc) and the rest to look towards a major FA
May 13, 2012 10:14 PM ET | Delete
I think the Canucks will want Tampa's first. They dont want Ohlund. They need to get younger.
May 13, 2012 10:16 PM ET | Delete
A combination of ohlund, det's 1st, and one and/or two 2nds/tokarski would be a pretty solid offer. Gillis might get more, but that would still have to be enticing, as they could flip one or two of the picks and/or Tokarski in another deal.
May 13, 2012 10:19 PM ET | Delete
Boinker, I think he's suggesting Ohlund for cap reasons, for Tampa to clear the space for Luongo. He would have to retire, giving the Canucks the cap space for another player, and picks and prospects to make a deal. Maybe not the best offer, but they could do worse.
May 13, 2012 10:29 PM ET | Delete
Fosco's right; this deal is completely contingent on Ohlund retiring the second he lands in Vancouver. He retires a Canuck, which is something a lot of people would like to see. Vancouver essentially gets rid of $5.33million on the cap, gains draft picks and can sign Schneider and go after a free agent comfortably. It's a differently structured deal than you'd see from a Toronto like team.
May 14, 2012 9:37 AM ET | Delete
As good as Luongo is, I still say we should keep our picks AND prospects, sign Vokoun for a couple and see what becomes of our young goaltending talent. Janus has ripped the reins out of Tokarski's hands and is putting on a show. Patience is still the best medicine for our future.
May 14, 2012 1:12 PM ET | Delete
Heard the Canucks would be asking for Jake Gardiner to be in a deal if a trade is to be made with TO.
May 14, 2012 10:48 PM ET | Delete
I don't see any way the Canucks could get Gardiner in a Luongo deal. Gardiner is just about as untouchable as they come in TO. Switch it to Schneider and then you can have that conversation, but even then. It's the same thing with Hedman; we're not giving up Hedman for Luongo contrary to what the folks at CDC might want fans to believe.
May 15, 2012 1:22 AM ET | Delete
Speculation is fun, but only Mr. Yzerman knows what he is going to do.
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