The Best of the Nation – 9.30.12

Updated: September 30, 2012 at 10:42 am by Jonathan Willis

Photo: davidgsteadman/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

Looking at a Roberto Luongo trade, the advantages for an NHL team that operates it’s own junior club, the craziness that awaits any NHL’er heading to Sweden for the lockout, Dan Cloutier’s return to the NHL, and more after the jump.

Hypothetically, if Roberto Luongo were to be traded… Weird fact – apparently Roberto Luongo grew up a big fan of Grant Fuhr. CanucksArmy speculates on four possible destinations for the goaltender – including Edmonton. All I’ll say is that the Jeff Petry thing ain’t happening. [Canucks Army]

Is running a junior team something every NHL owner should do? The Edmonton Oilers have a unique and cozy relationship with the Edmonton Oil Kings, with a significant degree of communication between organizations and a number of Oilers prospects on the team. Has it paid off, and is it something other NHL teams have done or should think about doing? [Oilers Nation]

Paul Gaustad is the greatest hero in American history. Nations’ overlord Kent Wilson, desperately scrambling for something to write about, looks at Barry Trotz’s contention that Paul Gaustad is worth 10 points to the Nashville Predators. Spoiler alert: he’s not. [Flames Nation]

The hornet’s nest that awaits locked out NHL’ers in Sweden. In some leagues, locked out NHL’ers are welcomed as they bring extra attention and skill to the game. In Sweden, something as simple as signing Alex Steen has turned into a major mess, featuring lawsuits, media scrutiny and bad blood. [Canucks Army]

Nazem Kadri’s got this. The hearts of Leafs Nation are a-flutter with the news that Nazem Kadri showed up to AHL training camp in, uh, less than optimum shape. One fan made a point of taking Kadri to task, only to meet with a reply of “settle down little girl I got this” from the unperturbed player. [Leafs Nation]

The Canucks have brought Dan Cloutier in to work with their goalies. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until someone photo-shops a beachball into a picture of Cloutier pointing out something to Cory Schneider. “See, this is how you do it!” Jokes aside, was it a good hire? [Canucks Army]

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ pitch to Brad Richards. The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t land Brad Richards in 2011 – that honour instead went to the New York Rangers, a club that paid through the nose for the privilege – but that’s not to say they didn’t try. Bonus feature: iPad version of Brian Burke, since actual Brian Burke was visiting the troops in Afghanistan on July 1 that year. [Leafs Nation]

Jason Garrison’s rise from obscurity. It may be a Canucks-specific article, as the team signed the free agent defenceman this summer, but Garrison’s odd career path and late-blooming tendencies are still quite interesting, even for those disinterested in the team. [Canucks Army]

Yakupov: “Just give a guy a chance to play and enjoy hockey. Pleeeease.” Nail Yakupov’s transfer situation is bizarre, and Andrey Osadchenko gives us the Russian perspective. [Oilers Nation]

Matt Stajan’s (fictional) trip to Kathmandu. Like the rest of us, Matt Stajan was wondering what to do with his time given the NHL lockout. Unlike the rest of us, he took a trip to Nepal. [Flames Nation]

Paul Ranger returns with a bang. Not long ago, Paul Ranger was one of the NHL’s up-and-coming young defenders before he rather mysteriously left the game (backstory here). Now, he’s attempting a comeback with the Leafs – and he’s started off by ranking first overall among Toronto Marlies players on their season-opening fitness tests. [Leafs Nation]