By now, you’re probably aware that Mike Gillis’s quest to trade Roberto Luongo has proven somewhat difficult. Heck, it’s almost descended into a farce on par with another classic quest. It just needs more coconuts.
The issue: Luongo’s contract will outlast the Age of Aquarius. It’s burdensome and, as the man said himself, sucky. As a result, Gillis is struggling to find a taker for it.
Well, actually that’s not true. There are takers out there. But they only want to take. They have no interest in sending anything of value the other way. For Gillis, completing a decent Luongo trade under current circumstances is the hardest thing he’ll ever have to do, to borrow a term from the great Nick Lachey.
It’s rough. If only there was a way to hit the easy button on the Canucks’ crowded crease conundrum.
But forsooth, there is! Trade the other guy. And according to Darren Dreger, that’s what the Canucks are looking into now:
It’s getting interesting. 2 sources say Corey Schneider is in play. 1st and a prospect part of asking price. Suspect Oilers in on talks.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2013
Ahem. That’s Cory Schneider. I digress.
Schneider is seven years younger, just as good, and on a manageable contract that (and here’s its primary advantage over the Luongo deal) ends in this decade. Where the return in a Luongo trade looks to be another burdensome contract and a Joe Bazooka comic, at best, Schneider could reasonably command the assets Dreger suggests.
Might this actually happen?
Sure. And it would be a defensible choice. Sure, the Canucks organization would look a little silly for turning on Luongo and then flip-flopping a year later, but that’s what the fanbase did, and we are all Canucks, right? Plus it would net the club valuable assets rather than simply throwing one away.
And it’s not like Luongo can’t play. He remains very good.
Truthfully, the only downside here is age, as Schneider is much closer to the prime of his career than Funny Bob. But Luongo has demonstrated a remarkable longevity in his career, and he could conceivably have another five years left in him. That’s enough time to find and groom a replacement.
All that said, I still suspect this is a ploy. While I personally believe Luongo might be willing to return, since his main gripe was having to share the crease and that wouldn’t be an issue any longer, I also think, speaking of returns, that this new information has been strategically leaked to get one for him.
Gillis wants to sort this situation out this weekend, and he’s struggling because, as mentioned, he has next to no leverage. Everybody knows moving Luongo is what he’s desperate to do.
But a willingness to trade Schneider is the cologne that masks his air of desperation. As mentioned, moving Schneider would be easy — easy enough that, if you’re a GM that’s truly interested in Luongo, you might actually be willing to give up something to make sure the Canucks remain focused on doing this the hard way.