Mar 08, 2012; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Ladd (16) has a scoring chance against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cory Schneider to Leave Swiss League on Monday

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider will be leaving HC Ambrì-Piotta of the National League A in Switzerland to return to Vancouver to await for a potential National Hockey League season.

Ambrì-Piotta said in a release posted on their website that Schneider, along with Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, will depart the team on Monday, January 7 to return to North America.

Both players feel a deal is close between the NHL and its Players’ Association. If no agreement is reached by the January 11 deadline imposed by the league and the season is cancelled, both players will return to Ambrì-Piotta a few days later to rejoin the team for the balance of the season.

Schneider and Duchene did not dress for Saturday’s game against HC Fribourg-Gottéron and will likely sit out Sunday’s game against HC Davos as well. With a deal close, both players do not want to put themselves at risk of sustaining an injury and missing part of a shortened NHL season.

The Minnesota Wild have pulled centre Mikael Gralund from Houston Aeros games out of fear he may sustain an injury. Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar, playing in Sweden, is out three weeks after sustaining an knee injury on Saturday.

The Canucks do not want Schneider to sustain an injury and neither does Schneider. He is looking to establish himself as a number one goaltender in the league after taking over the starting role from Roberto Luongo last year in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings. Any missed time would be detrimental and could prevent or hold up a potential Luongo trade.

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