That is, I understand, the rumor going around. I caught it in Jeff Little's THW piece, yesterday. I just don't see it happening because I think John Davidson is smarter than that. Here's why:
1) That contract! Think about it, all the Jackets need is a fairly good goalie to hold the fort while one of Bob and Mase decides to take the reigns to be #1 or, at worst, one of the talented goalies recently drafted develops into a true NHL #1 goalie. The amnesty buy outs are good for only the next two off seasons. Let's say that both Bob and Mase bomb out and it takes three years for one of the talented goalies to establish themselves. Now, the Jackets are stuck with that contract or have to make a ridiculous trade to unload it on someone else. I just don't think JD is that stupid. Hell, I don't think Howson is that stupid.
2) There's Luongo himself. Thanks to that contract, he can kill any trade made. Now, think like him. You're nearing the end of your career. You have a no trade clause in your contract. You'd like to make, at least, one more serious run for the Cup. Do you waive that no trade clause to go to Columbus? Not to knock our team, just being realistic, but we're two or three years away from making a serious run into the play offs. I simply don't see Luongo being patient enough to give the time for JD and staff to assemble all the elements for the CBJ to be serious Cup contenders.
3) There's Bob and Mase. Dealing with Mase first, yeah, we know how he's played since his rookie season. And, yes, odds are against him suddenly figuring out how to be a #1 goalie. Still, it could happen. And not trying to make Bob sound like an All-Star or something, but he has played quite well, so far. Yes, he's made some mistakes, he is a young goalie and still learning. But, overall, he's been playing quite well and looking better in each game. (Yes, each game. The Colorado game could have been much worse with, say, last year's Mase in goal.)
4) Continuing with just Bob, as I said, he's been playing better each game. Look at his history. Rookie season, he's the de facto #1 goalie for Philly and takes them into the play offs, where he is overwhelmed. Well, duh, what rookie, especially a rookie goalie, isn't somewhat overwhelmed in the play offs? Philly panics, signs Bryz to that ridiculous contract and shoves Bob into a back up role where he sucks. And Philly does this kind of thing regularly. Now, put yourself in JD's place. Do you risk Bob's continued development to bring in Luongo? I think not. Maybe Bob is our future #1 goalie. Maybe he's just a placeholder. The only way to find out is to play him regularly and that would not happen if Luongo is the #1 goalie.
5) Who do you trade for Luongo? Think Vancouver is going to take Mase off our hands? Don't make me laugh. Sure, they'll probably want a goalie as part of the deal, but I'd think they'd rather have C Mac. And there's the question of who else they would want. If I'm the GM at any other team, I'm looking at players like Cam, Johan, Savard, etc. You know, the CBJ's future. How much of our future is JD willing to give up? In this case, not much, I think.
If, and I stress IF, the CBJ were just that one goalie away from making a serious run at the Cup, trading for Luongo makes a certain amount of sense. But that isn't the case, here. Regardless of what Howson and management calls it, we're in a rebuild and because of that, trading for a Luongo simply doesn't make sense for this team at this time. So, were I in JD's shoes, my response to any offer from Vancouver would be, "Thanks, but no thanks."