Two weeks ago most people wold call this insane. Right now others might think it over reactionary. But I know that some people have to be thinking the Canucks are better off trading Cory Scheinder and keeping Roberto Luongo.
It is more than the fact that Luongo has come out of the gates on fire (.938 Save %, 1.61 GAA, and a shut out) while Schneider has come out hot and cold (.897 Save %, 3.13 GAA, and a shut out). Whenever people talk about trading Roberto Luongo they bring up the fact that he is a world class goaltender; and he’s got an Olympic Gold and a Hart Trophy nomination to prove it.
Schneider very well may turn into an equally as elite goaltender, in fact Vancouver is banking out it, but if Vancouver has two goalies of equivalent talent why is their one that they have to trade?
There are a lot of reasons why the Canucks feel they have to move Luongo, part of it is that Schneider is much younger than Luongo, part of it is that Luongo is seen as being a player who crumbles under pressure (re: Gold Medal), and it might have to do with a large percentage of the Vancouver fans trying to run him out of town. But while most of the hockey world agrees that Luongo is an elite goaltender he has been incredibly hard to move.
His contract length, cap hit, no trade clause, and the fact that everyone in the league knows they will have to move Luongo makes the market for him small and makes the possible return for the three time Vezina Trophy remarkably low.
That brings me to Schneider.
All the things that make it hard to move Luongo aren’t an issue if the Canucks try to move Schneider. Schneider’s contract is up after the 2014-15 season, his cap hit is only $4 Million, he doesn’t have a no trade clause, and because Schneider is seen as a more valuable asset it would be easier to get a sizable return for him.
With Vancouver’s “win now” mentality they will need a decent sized return on whichever goaltender they deal to make a push for the Stanley Cup. And trading Schneider will easier get them a better return.
Deal’s that Toronto balked at in exchange for Luongo they would jump at for Schneider. It also opens up more options for trade. Teams like Columbus and the New York Islanders would now be options for Vancouver and with the more possible trading partners for the Canucks the more they can get out of a team when they finally get a deal done.
And what if it doesn’t work out?
What if a year or two down the road Luongo is still shaky and is still perceived as being incapable of winning the big game? Well then we’ll go through this mess again, but instead of Cory Schneider the Canucks will be moving Luongo in favor of Eddie Lack, who is one of the top goaltending prospects in the league.
I’m sure plenty of people will still see this as the wrong move; believing that Schneider is the future in net for Vancouver and trading him is off the table. But trading Schneider could make the team substantially better than the Canucks trading Luongo.
And regardless of how it’s perceived any move that can make your team better must be explored.
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