A few days ago, The Canuck Way writer Balraj wrote about how Roberto Luongo and Corey Schneider will both be staying in Vancouver this season. He described how it would be Vancouver’s best option. You can read his article here. But for now, I am going to refute his article and describe why I think trading Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo before the trade deadline is the best option for the Vancouver Canucks.
To start off, my biggest reasoning for either Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider being traded by trade deadline is because I believe it will give the Canucks the best chance at the Stanley Cup this season. This of course depends on what type of acquisitions GM Mike Gillis would be able to bring into Vancouver. A power forward second liner to play with Ryan Kesler? Or even big stay at home top 4 defenceman? Both of these would provide a valuable asset to the Canucks during their 2012 Stanley Cup run. Vancouver was so close to the Stanley Cup last season and with a similar team this season Vancouver is still Stanley Cup contenders. This is why improving the team now is the best option: Vancouver wants to win and in order to do that the team needs a couple adjustments to improve from last season.
This season the biggest question in Vancouver has been is: Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider? Both goaltenders are capable of being the number one goaltender. What fellow Canuck Way writer, Balraj, wrote was that Vancouver should keep both to have two solid goaltenders in this seasons playoffs. While that is a valid point, I am more concerned with the matter of Cory Schneider being on the last year of his contract in Vancouver. This is giving GM Mike Gillis the tough decision on choosing between goaltenders because Cory Schneider will become unaffordable to resign. He will also want to be a starting goalie, which he should be considering how well he has played. His recent performance also increases his trade value.
Roberto Luongo on the other hand should not be sitting on the bench as a back up goalie because of his high contract. All of the above makes it obvious that next season the Vancouver Canucks will be without either Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider. But who shall Vancouver depart with? Will Vancouver ever trade the face of their franchise?
If Cory Schneider is the goaltender to leave Vancouver, trading him before trade deadline could bring in some very valuable assets to the Canucks from a team who is desperate for a competitive starting goaltender. A team that immediately comes to mind is the Tampa Bay Lightening who has struggling goaltenders Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon. At the moment the team is falling down the standings, but considering their roster includes players such as Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Steven Stamkos there is no doubt in my mind that they will be pushing and fighting for a playoff spot. But what could Tampa Bay give in return? Sure it would be nice to see Mattias Ohlund back in a Canuck jersey, but he is not the type of player Vancouver needs. One defenceman that pops into my mind is Pavel Kubina, a gritty and tough guy that can rack up a fair amount of points. Though, his cap hit is fairly high a 3.85 mil. Trading Cory Schneider could also bring in some high draft picks or upcoming star prospects which would provide a dominant future for Vancouver.
If Roberto Luongo was to leave Vancouver, the main asset would be losing his cap hit and his ridiculous contract. However, that contract also leaves very few teams interested because lets be honest, nobody wants a Rick DiPietro mistake. Trading Roberto and his high/long contract would most likely mean getting a player in return with a similar contract. Unless this player is a top 4 defenceman or top 6 forward then in the end it wouldn’t be beneficial to Vancouver this season. BUT, if Mike Gillis was able to swing a trade that didn’t involve getting a high contract in return, it could be a “winning” situation. It would allow cap space to acquire a top 6 forward or top 4 defenceman at the trade deadline. For this to happen Cory Schneider would be Vancouver’s starting goaltender. Would you be able to trust him in the playoffs?
I know what you’re thinking – if Schneider or Luongo was traded, then who would be the back up goaltender for the playoffs? To answer that simply: Eddie Lack. 2011 playoffs, on the Manitoba Moose Lack had an impressive 1.99 GAA and 0.932 SV%. These numbers were better than his regular season numbers, could this be a goaltender who thrives under pressure? Some believe that he is not ready for the NHL, but it is moments such this that could allow him to break out as a remarkable NHL goaltender. Then eventually Vancouver may even have another goaltending controversy in a couple years. If only Dan Cloutier had this kind of competition.
In the end it is going to be very difficult to depart with either goaltender. By losing Roberto Luongo Vancouver is losing the face of their franchise, their hope. By losing Cory Schneider Vancouver is losing a potential hall of fame goaltender. What do you think about the goaltending controversy in Vancouver? Do you think that both goaltenders should remain in Vancouver this season or do you think either Luongo or Schneider should be traded? Again, an opinion opposite of mine can be read here, written by Balraj Dhillon. Comment below!