Could the Canucks trade Cory Schneider during NHL Draft weekend instead?

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:

 

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.

36 comments

  1. Lenny
    June 29, 2013

    Could be a leverage ploy to give Garth Snow some incentives to lose the DiPietro contract, along with say his 15th overall. This is more or less the only way the Islanders can get rid of that contract without a buyout.

    But I think most Canucks fans by now are realizing that the most profitable thing to do with our goalie situation is to trade Schneider and keep Luongo.

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  2. Lenny
    June 29, 2013

    Also, you can’t count how many teams in the league would be interested in Schneider. Gillis can easily start a bidding war, a far better position to be in than telemarketing Luongo. Big news on draft day for sure if that’s really his route.

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  3. BBoone
    June 29, 2013

    Why not Luongo for the next few years if it means we also get a top prospect and very good pick.
    We have some good young goalies in the system to develop over the next few years.
    In the future the price for Schneider as an URA could be much higher than Luongos cap hit.
    Obviously not ideal but one could easily see this working out a lot better than the alternatives

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  4. Darrell
    June 29, 2013

    You’re living in the past if you think Bobby Lu is the equivalent goalie to Schneider. 3 years ago, they were equal. 2 years ago Cory was better (2nd in save % vs 16th). And last year he was one of the best goalies in the nhl (4th in save % as the starter, vs 32nd for Lu). Lu is at best a middle of the pack goalie at this point in his career. If they dump Schneider for picks and prospects they get nothing that will help the team during their so-called window… Instead they get pieces that will help after that window has closed. Choosing to keep the worse goalie of your two choices is insane. Changes their window to a porthole.

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  5. a
    June 29, 2013

    there’s probably more chance of Lu being traded to the NHL in return for the Coyotes than Cory being traded

    Cory should totally be the one who is traded though.

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  6. Max
    June 29, 2013

    I’m hoping this is just typical Dreger nonsensery… If it isn’t, and we trade Schneider, I will be enraged. People do not realize how special Schneider is… “Luongo is equally as good”, yeah right. The stats speak for themselves.

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    • Truculent!
      June 29, 2013

      “Dreger nonsensory”
      Are we at the point now where we could just refer to this as “Dreger-y”?

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    • Kelvin Yu
      June 29, 2013

      Confirmed by Big Daddy Mackenzie, so this time it isn’t Dreger bsing.

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  7. Hanky Doodle Dandy
    June 29, 2013

    I’ve been on team Bobby Lu from the get go. It’s tough to make a case that one is obviously better than the other and Roberto has prove to be elite over a longer period of time.

    The issue I see is whether the relationship between Roberto and the organization is salvageable. Until the playoffs this year when Roberto played two good games and still got switched out I thought maybe it was but after the debacle of Schneids coming in and stinking it up I think it might be too much. The organization made it clear where its allegiances lie and despite Roberto being a total pro over the last year in a horrible situation I wouldn’t blame him for saying, “Enough is enough, get me out of here.”

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  8. dougster
    June 29, 2013

    GMMG has been setting this up over the last few months, and signing the Swedish Flyers former #1 prospect (can’t remember his name–Gefeltefische? ) was a key move. He could trade Schneider, and will if he gets the right return. Lu will have another young goalie to groom who gets 10-15 starts and he will be happy happy happy to be the #1 again playing 65+. It could totally work. Or… the threat of trading Schneider may push someone to budge on a deal for Lu, which would also totally work.

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    • Pukeko
      June 29, 2013

      Oy gevalt! I suspect a goalie by that name (well almost that spelling) would be Charles Wang’s dream in terms of getting butts in seats in Brooklyn!

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  9. akidd
    June 29, 2013

    it would be insane to trade schneider. he is by far the better goalie. both technically and mentally(so far.) a pick and a prospect. that’s really going to help. trading a potential vezina candidate for a couple of guys who may or not play in the nhl is pretty nutty. trading a guy who can help the team win now during the window for guys who may or may not help the team win later after the competitive roster is put out to pasture is pretty nutty.

    so ya, a ploy, harrison. that must be it.

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  10. 61ihc
    June 29, 2013

    Makes perfect sense to me. The Nucks won’t need a goalie who’s elite with Tortorella as coach now. With everyone blocking shots and trapping Lu will come out looking elite. if not, Torts won’t be afraid to bench him and ride the backup. This would stock the cupboards with a couple of prospects who should also get ice time under Torts. Either goalie is very capable. All I have to do is think back to the Cloutier years and that shuts me up really quick. trade away MG!

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    • T-Bone
      June 30, 2013

      “The Nucks won’t need a goalie who’s elite with Tortorella as coach now. With everyone blocking shots and trapping Lu will come out looking elite.”

      This has already been addressed I believe. Blocking shots actually doesn’t make that much of a difference towards the positive end of the scale.

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  11. Motowndm
    June 29, 2013

    Why does Dreger, and I like him, get the kudos for bringing Schneider into the mix when some fans in Vancouver have brought this up since last year?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 29, 2013

      Because he has actual sources who confirmed it as something actually happening rather than just fans throwing ideas around. It’s not like Dreger said, “Hey, here’s an idea,” he reported on something sources were telling him.

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  12. Amor de Cosmos
    June 29, 2013

    The issue isn’t who’s the better player. They’re both elite goaltenders. The issue is which one is better for the team. The decision has as much to do with the dressing room, and player morale, as it does on the ice.

    GMMG was very lucky last Summer. After the loss to the Kings, Luongo nudged him into making a choice by publicly saying he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause. It’s possible, perhaps likely, he was hoping Gillis would say “No way. You’re our man.” He didn’t, and went for the kid. A popular choice with the press and public, but not necessarily with the squad, where Lu carries serious cred. If Luongo (and Schneider) were different kinds of people the team could well have been seriously FUBAR. The fact that it didn’t happen speaks volumes about them, and the maturity of the team as a whole.

    I guess my question is if Gillis flip-flops now, what are the consequences — besides who plays in goal next season? How much more of idiot will Gillis look. Every player in a Canucks uniform is going to be saying to himself “WTF is going on!” Can’t be good can it?

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  13. biznow
    June 29, 2013

    Maybe if Luongo and Schneider weren’t such pros about it, Gillis would have been forced to deal him last year. I’ll bet he still would have got more than he will this year. So you see, its Luongo and Schneiders fault. Gillis is blameless.

    *removes gillis glasses and looks around* oh jeezus, what a mess.

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  14. peanutflower
    June 29, 2013

    Luongo FTW. Seriously. I’m firmly on Team Luongo. Do it, GMMG, and eat a big pile o’ crow while you’re at it and make everyone in the locker room happy. Give Funny Bob the keys to the arena and let him have at it. I mean, it’s not like the Canucks are saddled with a good goalie and a bad goalie — they have two really good goalies. How bad can it be? Just do it. Get it over with.

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  15. PB
    June 29, 2013

    At a far more reasonable hit for equal talent and on the upswing, no way they trade Schneider for futures. Luongo goes for a couple of middle picks and Canucks swallowing some salary on the way back.

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  16. Tom 1040
    June 29, 2013

    I have no idea what will happen.

    Why?

    I don’t know who is making the decisions the GM normally makes, anymore.

    I find all this very amusing (and entertaining).

    Gillis…Ha ha.

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  17. PB
    June 29, 2013

    So Tom, I’m curious — you’ve stated on several occasions that you aren’t a fan of the team and won’t be until Gillis leaves. Fair enough. But if you’re not a fan, why pay this much attention?

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    • Tom 1040
      June 29, 2013

      Good question.

      I find all this, as stated, very amusing.

      I am interested in watching ‘things’ unfold to the point where I have a team to cheer for again.

      What’s more, today’s decisions will have a direct affect on next year when there is a new GM, so it interesting to me.

      And, as this all unfolds in front of us, it is great to see Gillis and his massive ego get pummeled publicly.

      He deserves it because he hasn’t deserved the hockey success he was gifted though took complete credit for with all his smugness.

      Also, hockey is my preferred sport. I will always have some interest in the NHL, and the Canucks are the team I am most familiar with.

      Finally, this entertainment is all free.

      So…how’s that for an answer?

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      • Pukeko
        June 29, 2013

        “…with all his smugness.” Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

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        • Tom 1040
          June 30, 2013

          For example….?

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      • PB
        June 30, 2013

        Fair enough

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  18. Metaxa
    June 29, 2013

    Count me as another in the Loo camp.

    Also count me in the group wondering how much of all the shenanigans dealing with Ballard, Loo/Schneids, Kassian’s deployment etc, etc were a result of consensus and consultation or (mostly) a Head Coach exerting his will.

    I’m sure if this trade comes to fruition that Torts and Loo will sit down to a plate of meatballs and gravy, possibly served my Aquaman himself and find common ground, Loo will play like the pro he is and after the emergence of Strombone I like where his head and psyche are at.

    Win or lose, they are my team to watch and root for and I’m still willing to await actual results…the end of the process if you will, before I flip out.

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    • akidd
      June 30, 2013

      in the lou camp? not you too, metaxa!

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  19. J21
    June 29, 2013

    It very well may happen because Gillis is out of options. But let’s not pretend the better of the two wouldn’t get traded away in that case.

    On both the eye test and the stats test, Schneider has outperformed Luongo for a couple years now (anyone who wants to bring up two playoff games coming off an injury as somehow overruling this is being silly). Plus he’s considerably younger and still on the upswing while Luongo is on the downswing of his career. Making an equivalence between them is a bit false, I think. I also find it a little telling that anyone who suggests this gets thumbs downs (as I will here), whereas anyone doing the opposite has a bevy of thumbs-up. I absolutely love this blog, but I do think you guys have cultivated a bit of a bias that has spilled over to the readers.

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    • Tom 1040
      June 30, 2013

      I completely agree with everything you said, and well said indeed.

      I also think though that bias cultivation occurs with anything that has a following, IMO.

      All you can do (all one can do) is to continue to post honest opinions regardless of prevailing winds.

      Good post by you (IMO).

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    • akidd
      June 30, 2013

      yup. good post. i still don’t get what anyone thinks there is to gain by trading schneider. if anything schneider could salvage a playoff berth single-handed. he’s the one safe bet these days. with all that’s up in the air with coaches and management etc. folks want to throw in one more huge variable in lou all of a sudden finding his mental game. and the optimism stems from lou being good with the tweeting?!?

      nah, it’s too crazy, even for desperado gillis. schneider stays and edler is traded for forward depth.

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      • Amor de Cosmos
        June 30, 2013

        You’d hope the gain would be a decent return in players and draft picks, and natural succession in the net. If Schneider stays what happens to Lack and Eriksson? They’re not far off his age, neither will want to play in Utica forever, but, barring injury to Schneider, there’ll be no chance of showcasing them both in the NHL. Viewed strictly from a management PoV, trading Schneider makes more sense. Reduce Luongo’s games year-by-year while auditioning the two Swedes.

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        • akidd
          June 30, 2013

          natural succession in net? sure the canucks have goalie prospects but goalies like schneider who develop past the prospect stage and put up huge numbers in the nhl do not grow on trees. schneider had to work his butt off to become the goalie he is. it took some mental fortitude and aptitude. lack and eriksson may have tons of potential but there is a long treacherous road before either become the goalie that schneider already is.

          the canucks got lucky with, very lucky that schneider developed like he did. for them to squander that good fortune for the ‘two in the bush’ would be very poor decision-making indeed.

          my one caveat with schneider was that little “i don’t want to be an average goalie’ sniffle-fit he threw early last season and i admit that we don’t know what kind of mental goods he really has until the heat gets turned way up. but there’s only one way to find out. i figure what with his impeccable technique and ease in the crease he deserves a real sustained shot a number one.

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          • Amor de Cosmos
            June 30, 2013

            Well it’s all academic now.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 30, 2013

      Do we like Luongo here? Of course. He’s the best goaltender in Canucks history. Has Schneider outperformed him? Of course. The only question mark for Schneider is that he has just one season as a starter under his belt at this point, whereas Luongo has a long history of consistent play, season-after-season.

      Personally, I’d much prefer the Canucks keep Schneider. He’s younger and, arguably, better. However, if they do trade Schneider for a good return, I wouldn’t mind, as Luongo still has many good seasons left in him.

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      • Doop
        June 30, 2013

        WELP

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