For what it’s worth, I’m not so sure that Roberto Luongo’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause if asked is all that big a deal. With a few exceptions (Down Goes Brown bitterly reminds me of former Canuck Mats Sundin), no-trade clauses aren’t an insurmountable obstacle.
The fact is that an NTC is simply there to prevent players from being blindsided. If you have one, you won’t ever have to worry about answering your phone, only to be told you’ve been moved. That’s a nightmare call for anyone, and you can’t begrudge players looking for a guarantee that they’ll never have to receive it, especially as they attempt to lay down roots.
But if someone told me they didn’t want me, I wouldn’t force them to have me. And that’s what it comes down to with Roberto Luongo. He may have veto power, but the moment he needs to exercise it, his relationship with the Canucks changes forever. In effect, the decision here belongs to Mike Gillis, despite Luongo’s contract stipulating that he be consulted on it.
That’s what Luongo said Tuesday. From the Vancouver Sun:
“Yeah, of course, if they ask me to,” Luongo replied when queried about his appetite to waive the no-trade clause. “I don’t want to be one of those guys who is going to stand in the way of anything. I always want to put the team ahead of me. I don’t want to be one of those selfish guys.
“Obviously they have a guy here who is going to be a superstar in this league for the next 10, 12, 15 years so I’m okay with it. It is a business and that’s the way it goes. I’ve loved being here the last six years. If I’m here in the future, then great. If I’m not, that’s good also.”
Some took Cory Schneider’s starts in Games 3, 4, and 5 versus Los Angeles to mean that Gillis and the rest of Canucks’ coaching and management had already made up their mind about next year. But I don’t think so.
No doubt the decision to let Schneider play out the string coupled with Luongo’s willingness to acquiesce to a move make it far more likely that he’ll be elsewhere next season. But it’s hardly a guarantee.
The team hasn’t lost faith Luongo, and even if the fanbase has, the Cody Hodgson trade is a pretty good indication that Mike Gillis doesn’t give a rip what local reaction to his roster moves will be. He’ll make the deal he thinks is best for the team, and that could still be a Cory Schneider trade.
Consider what Aaron Portzline of the Columbus dispatch had to say today:
Three clubs in need of No. 1 goaltender this summer – #CBJ, Tampa Bay, Toronto – all crestfallen by Cory Schneider’s takeover in Vancouver.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 24, 2012
These teams have been drooling over Schneider all year. And why not? He’s young, he’s immensely talented, he’s an excellent team guy, and best of all, he’s not locked into a big contract through the beginning of the next decade.
This summer, Mike Gillis will have to weigh Cory Schneider’s value to the Canucks against his value on the open market, and that’s where things get tricky. Both Schneider and Luongo are franchise goaltenders and both will give the Canucks a chance to win over the next few years. But in terms of what they would bring back via trade? It’s not even close.
Schneider is worth the moon. Luongo is worth, like, a moon. Maybe one of Jupiter’s.
Prior to the trade deadline, I argued that Schneider was available, and I remain convinced that, despite everything that’s gone on since, he still is. But he’s worth a fortune. If someone pays that exorbitant price, it won’t matter that Roberto Luongo is willing waive his no-trade clause, because he may not be asked to.Tags: goaltending controversy, Luongo, no-trade clauses, schneider