When backup goalie Cory Schneider was putting up starting goalie like numbers during the Canucks magical 2011 season, a lot of fans knew this situation would come for the Vancouver Canucks. That situation is finally taking place.
Schneider who will become an RFA at the end of June, is due for a big pay raise. Therefore, the Canucks won't be able to afford to keep both goalies.
Over the next three weeks or so, General Manager Mike Gillis will have to decide of what goalie he wants move forward with for the Vancouver Canucks. Before the playoffs, I thought they would be going with Luongo. He gets way too much criticism for what happens with the Canucks. To be honest, without him the Canucks don’t even get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
However, since the avoided goalie controversy this year and the fact that Schneider started the remaining three games of the Western Conference Quarter Finals against the Kings, it would make no sense to let Schneider go now. Cory Schneider has proven numbers in the playoffs. He has now played in four playoff games and has given Vancouver a chance to win in every game.
In addition, despite Luongo’s harsh media attention after some losses, it might be time to move on from the Luongo era. Letting Schneider go, might solve nothing in net. Except for 2011, the Canucks have to an extent underachieved during the playoffs. Yes, the playoffs are a coin toss sometimes but his problems weren’t always on the ice. His answers to the media after games weren’t always the best. His “at least I didn’t let in seven (goals) its progress” after Game 6 of the 2010 Western Conference Semi Final. The remark didn’t sit well with the media.
A new era could also bring fresh air to the locker room. At some parts of last year it seemed that there was a Stanley Cup hangover around this team. Only time will tell if that was a one-year thing, If it happens again next year there will need to be massive changes. On a lot of nights last year the Canucks seemed to be just going through the motions. If Luongo is traded, there could be a mind shift to get this team focused in winning a Stanley Cup.
The only reason why it makes sense to trade Schneider is because of trade value. At age 33, trading Luongo won’t be as appealing as trading Schneider. The one thing that Vancouver will get back in the Luongo deal is relief in where Gillis won’t have a huge contract to deal with. In contrast, trading Schneider, the Canucks will get more back in return.
At the end of the day I think Luongo will be traded. If that weren’t the case, Luongo wouldn’t have made a list of teams he preferred to go to. Whatever decision Gillis makes, it will be a significant trade in Canucks history. If he makes the right trade he’ll be a genius. However, if he makes the wrong trade he’ll be a goat.