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Luongo no fit in Washington

Despite being on the trade block for months, Roberto Luongo hasn't yet lost in regulation this season for Vancouver. (Getty Images)

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Despite being on the trade block for months, Roberto Luongo hasn't yet lost in regulation this season for Vancouver. (Getty Images)

The appearance of Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and assistant GM Laurence Gilman at Sunday's Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals game created instant buzz throughout the NHL.

Gillis has been shopping Roberto Luongo since last summer, so his presence in Washington sparked speculation Luongo would soon join the struggling Capitals.

The Washington Times' Stephen Whyno and TSN's Bob McKenzie took to Twitter to dismiss the rumors, with McKenzie shooting down the theory Cory Schneider is the Capitals real target.

McKenzie acknowledged the Capitals goaltending hadn't been sharp of late, but management intended to stick with its current tandem for now.

On Monday, Capitals GM George McPhee said he's never had a single conversation with Gillis about a goalie, adding he could never take Luongo's contract.

Trade chatter with Luongo will increase if Gillis turns up in other NHL cities, but that doesn't mean a trade of the veteran netminder is imminent.

Thanks to Luongo's goaltending, the Canucks have done well the past week, but with Ryan Kesler and David Booth sidelined, scoring remains an issue. If Gillis trades Luongo, he'll want at least a second-line scorer as part of the return.

It could be weeks until some decent scoring talent becomes available in the trade market. Given the Canucks recent performance, Gillis can afford to be patient.

ARE THE FLYERS POISED FOR A BIG MOVE?

The Philadelphia Flyers' slow start prompted some pundits to suggest trade options for GM Paul Holmgren.

Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun claimed there's talk Holmgren could soon make a major move to bolster his lineup.

Holmgren was rumored last month to have interest in Luongo, but he's now believed to be seeking an experienced backup for Ilya Bryzgalov, who’s among the few bright spots for the Flyers.

Garrioch believes the Phoenix Coyotes want to move defenseman Keith Yandle and his five-year $26.3 million contract, which has three seasons left on it after 2012-13, but the asking price could prove too steep for the Flyers.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi included Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla among his proposed list of Flyers trade targets. CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio believes Iginla would provide the right mix of offense, experience and leadership the Flyers desperately need.

Iginla, however, has a no-movement clause in his contract. While his pending free agent status this summer raises questions over his future in Calgary, he won't agree to a trade this early in the season.

As long as the Flames remain in playoff contention, they won't move Iginla, nor will he ask to be dealt. Both sides could change their minds by the trade deadline, but that would come too late to help the Flyers.

RED WINGS FANS CONCERNED WITH HOLE ON DEFENSE

Some concerned Detroit Red Wings fans recently asked MLive.com's Ansar Khan if the club might pursue Phoenix's Keith Yandle, Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester or the New York Islanders' Lubomir Visnovsky.

Khan believes the Wings will try to add a top-four defenseman and a top-six forward before the April 3 trade deadline. He acknowledged Yandle, Bouwmeester and Visnovsky could interest them, but believes the asking price for Yandle is steep, while Bouwmeester would have to waive his no-trade clause.

Visnovsky will be eligible for UFA status this summer and has dragged his feet on joining the Islanders. Khan believes the Isles will shop him if they're out of the playoff picture by the trade deadline.

He also listed Edmonton's Ryan Whitney, Buffalo's Robyn Regehr and Winnipeg's Ron Hainsey as other pending UFAs who could be of interest to the Wings.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland attempted last summer to bolster his blueline with a failed bid for Ryan Suter. With injuries mounting and his club struggling, expect Holland to continue his search for a skilled defenseman.

Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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