The Canucks got great news on Tuesday, as Roberto Luongo revealed that he is willing to waive his no trade clause. Now don’t get me wrong, Roberto Luongo is an excellent goalie and I believe in him, but having the ability to trade him as well as Cory Schneider is huge for the Canucks.
Luongo has handled the goalie controversy with a lot of class. He has often been criticized for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but in this situation he has shown a great attitude. Luongo sounded humble and aware of the fact that Cory Schneider is an excellent goalie.
In my opinion the right move for Mike Gillis is to move Roberto Luongo and keep Cory Schneider. I would have been in favour of this before last season as well, and it has nothing to do with “hating” on Lu. Schneider is younger, cheaper, and perhaps better. Luongo is 33 years old, and has perhaps 2-3 years left as a top flight goalie before his talent is likely to diminish (if it hasn’t already). Not only that, but Luongo is an ‘old 33′ given he has been in the league since he was 20 years old and played 70+ games in a number of seasons. Schneider conversely, has a lot less wear and tear on his body at age 27.
If you keep Schneider, you will retain the better goalie (though this is arguable) and you will have him for many more years in his prime. The move would help the team in the short term by having a lower cap hit, and help long term solidifying the goaltending position for years to come. Even if the Canucks only get a couple of draft picks in exchange for Luongo, shedding his $5.3 million cap hit would allow the team to make a large offer to an unrestricted free agent. Perhaps they would be able to attract Ryan Suter, which would give the team a legitimate stud defenceman for years to come.
Roberto Luongo is one of the greatest players in franchise history, and certainly the greatest goalie in franchise history. He has been criticized a lot in recent years, but people ought not forget the number of exceptional years he has had in Vancouver. If he does indeed get traded, he deserves a standing ovation from the crowd in Vancouver upon his first return.