After three consecutive weeks chatting up Canuck skaters, it was Cory Schneider’s turn to take the chair to the right of Scott Oake on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours, and the Red-Headed Stop Child didn’t disappoint. Schneider has earned a reputation around these parts as a well-spoken, likeable and funny guy, and he did nothing during the interview to dissuade us from such characterizations.
Dressed in what appeared to be one of Kevin Weekes’s suits, Schneider handled questions about the Canucks’ goaltending situation with the usual class and tact that we’ve come to expect from him.
But it wasn’t all business as usual. Unlike previous After Hours interviews, this one yielded a lot of new stuff. Over the course of the 22-minute interview, Schneider filled us in on some tweaks to the Canucks’ goaltending, spoke out against a certain slang term for redheads, showed off his bag of impressions, and dropped a preponderance of quality one-liners.
Here are the highlights, for the viewing impaired:
At the beginning of the interview, one of the Canucks mockingly yells “Nice suit”. “Who yelled that?” asks Oake. Schneider: “Somebody who’s jealous of it, obviously.”
Oake: “There’s nothing we can say to draw you into a goaltending controversy.” Schneider: “Even when I don’t say anything there’s a goaltending controversy, so it doesn’t matter.”
Is it apparent by now that Oake and PITB are besties? He gets to our question almost right away, and even acknowledges the existence Daniel by referring to us in the plural: “Our friends at Pass it to Bulis”. We asked whether or not Schneider would even want to be the Canucks’ number one, considering how this market treats Luongo, and Schneider answers with the usual tact. He makes a salient point, too, about his preference for being with a winning organization. He has to know that, if he’s traded, it will likely be to a team that doesn’t do that quite so well.
Schneider: “I’ve got my own little goalie quirks, but I would choose to define that as ‘routine’ and not ‘superstition’.”
Actual new info: last year, Rollie Melanson asked Schneider and Luongo to play deeper. This year, he’s given them a little more freedom to challenge shooters. Schneider calls this a hybrid approach. Considering all the focus on goaltending this year, it’s a wonder that this is the first we’ve heard about this.
Schneider, providing commentary on his diving save on Brendan Morrison: “Oops. Uh oh. Come on…. yes.”
Man alive, Schneider used to be a chunko. How did nobody notice the difference between then a now. I love the way he reacts to seeing a photo of his younger, chubbier self: “Had a few bee stings back then. And the hair too, I think it makes me look fatter.”
Oake spells out that Schneider agreed to come on the show only after establishing that he wouldn’t do any impressions. Oake then follows this up by begging Schneider to do impressions for the next five minutes.
Thankfully, Schneider relents, and his impressions of Alain Vigneault and Alex Burrows are excellent. He nails what makes them work: it’s not so much the inflections as it is saying things they would actually say. The Burrows impression becomes spot-on the moment he calls Henrik Sedin “‘anky”.
If Schneider gets into broadcasting after he retires, I hope he keeps up with the impressions. As it is, the best impressionist in the hockey media is Ray Ferraro. (Link NSFW for language.)
Darryl Rheaugh, with the question of the night: “You like having fun?”
With Cody Hodgson gone, David Booth is now the worst-dressed Canuck.
Alain Vigneault walks by and says, “Tell him to do Burrows.” Love that.
15:00 – Time to get serious, friends. “Daniel and Henrik and myself, as redheads, we don’t really enjoy the term ginger,” Schneider says. “We’re trying to get it out of people’s vernacular.” Done. Although one wonders: since the Sedins tend to pay their teammates to say things during interviews, is Schneider acting on his own here? Or did he Schneider collect payment for this impassioned speech? It wouldn’t surprise me.
“Some guys are smart in school, dumb on the bus.” Amazing.
And finally, an epic chirp: “Kevin [Bieksa] is very articulate for a guy that went to Bowling Green.”
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