Rob The Hockey Guy

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Cory Schneider Traded… City of Vancouver Freaks Out

The Roberto Luongo saga ended Sunday afternoon at the NHL entry draft with… Cory Schneider being traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for their first round draft pick (9th overall). Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

I think most people’s reaction to the trading of Cory Schneider was “that’s it?”. Fans of the Canucks know just how good Schneider is. Apart from being a really well spoken and well liked 27 year old goalie, he was 4th in save percentage last season and 2nd in save percentage the year before. Those aren’t easy things to accomplish. He’s probably one of the top goalies in the NHL (I’d say in my top eight) and the Canucks should have received a large ransom for him. But this isn’t 2011 when Semyon Varlamov was traded for a 1st round pick (12th overall) and a 2nd round pick. This is 2013 where goalies seemingly have little to no value anymore. And the value for a budding superstar 27 year old goalie was a 1st round pick apparently. This brings me back to my article from a few days ago where I stated this:

Sure, you could get something for Schneider, but what? Just because Schneider is a good goalie does not mean that you will get exactly what you want for him.

Oilers offer

Of course, the Edmonton Oilers apparently offered more. How much more? Well we know that the Canucks asked for a 1st and 2nd round pick plus a good young player from the Oilers. The Oilers balked at this, and the Canucks took the 1st rounder from New Jersey. Presumably the Canucks didn’t want to trade a player like Schneider to a division rival, which I’m not sure I agree with. In my opinion, you have to get the best deal possible for your team. If it improves 1 out of the other 29 teams, so be it. If you improve your team, you’ll be better off at least 28 of the 29 other teams. If a couple of trades are very close, then perhaps you lean to the non-divisional team, but I guess I will have to reserve judgement on this potential deal with the Oilers because we don’t know exactly what they were willing to give up.

Why did this happen?

So why was Cory Schneider traded? It’s because the Canucks couldn’t get anything for Roberto Luongo and weren’t willing to buy him out. That’s the conclusion I have come to. This was a trade that was made because of money, not hockey.

What is the risk of keeping Roberto Luongo?

The risk is huge. First of all Roberto Luongo is not as good of a goalie as Cory Schneider, plain and simple. The Canucks chances of winning today are not as good as their chances of winning yesterday. Secondly, Luongo is 34 years of age and could experience a sharp decline in skill/ability in the not so distant future. And lastly, the Canucks are likely going to be on the hook for the “cap recapture penalty“, which could be as bad as a $3.5 million penalty against the cap for 4 straight seasons if he retires at age 39. Yikes.

Is this a deal for the present or the future?

I’m not sure really. Dealing Schneider for a prospect in the short term makes the Canucks a worse team in the 2013-14 season. If Luongo is good until his late 30s and Bo Horvat becomes an impact player in the next 2 years, the Canucks will be better in the next 2-5 years. Beyond that, who knows.

Is this deal a disaster?

No. Sure, the optics are bad. Luongo didn’t want to be here, and he stays. Schneider did, and he’s gone. Schneider was a superstar in the making, but fetched only a draft pick. The fact of the matter is that Bo Horvat isn’t an insignificant return for Schneider. The 2013 draft was said to be a deep draft, and the 9th overall pick is a high pick.


General manager Mike Gillis said this team needed a reset, and I think the trading of Cory Schneider qualifies as that. The Canucks now have a blue chip prospect in Bo Horvat. That is much needed for the future of this team. This trade signals that the Canucks are not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in 2013-14. Perhaps they will be in 2014-15, but not now. Unless Horvat shocks everyone, he will take at least 2 years to make a big impact in the NHL.

What does Rob say?

I don’t like this trade. Mike Gillis clearly mismanaged this situation (in part because the rules of the CBA changed after the last lockout), and his hand has been forced. Gillis could have received something of value for Luongo last summer but didn’t. Time will tell whether or not this was a wise move based on the development of Bo Horvat and the career longevity of Roberto Luongo. If the Edmonton Oilers offered significantly more, I think that was the team to trade with (I don’t care if they’re a division rival). But if Luongo remains an elite goalie for the next 4-5 years and Horvat becomes a star, this will be a good trade. Time will tell.

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4 Response to Cory Schneider Traded… City of Vancouver Freaks Out

  1. Scott on July 3, 2013

    I could not disagree with you any more when you say Corey is a better goalie than Lou. n nNo way man, no freaking way. Too small a sample size to declare him the goalie of the future. Also, did you watch the Canucks? They played night and day in front of the two goalies. They played so much better defensively in front of Corey it was ridiculous. n nAlso, wasn't Lou playing well in the playoffs and then A.V. pulled him and it was Corey who got beat up? n nI enjoyed the article and am not trying to be a jerk but this automatic assumption that Corey was better really bothers me, he's not. But I guess time will tell won't it?

    • Rob on July 5, 2013

      It's not an assumption, it's what I have seen in front of me during the past 2 seasons. Schneider's only slip up was in the playoffs this year against San Jose (in which he was playing hurt by all indications). n nAs for the sample size, over the past 2 seasons Schneider has played 63 regular season games and Luongo played 75. Lu played more in 2011-12 and Schneider played more in the 2012-13 season. In both occasions, Schneider's numbers are much better than Luongo's. In 2011-12, Schneider was 1.96 GAA and .937 SV%, Luongo was 2.41 GAA and .919. In 2012-13, Schneider was 2.11 and .927 SV%, Luongo was 2.56 and .907. As for the playoffs, I'll ignore the fact that Schneider was hurt and that he played all the road games while Lu got almost all the home games. Combined in the last two playoff series Lu got 4 games and Schneider got 5. Lu had .904 SV% compared to Schneider's .926 SV%. n nBasically what I'm saying is that sooner or later you have to trust the numbers. No doubt, Schneider's numbers are superior. Two years isn't enough of a sample size for you, and that's fine (although I disagree, I think there's enough of a sample size). n nSaying that the team plays better in front of Schneider over two years and that's the reason for his better numbers is nothing more than an excuse. n nI like Luongo, but I like Schneider more. I trust the numbers, and furthermore I trust my eyes. Schneider's quicker and more in control from what I see. If Luongo is better, I'd like to see him prove it. I hope he does.

  2. redwings ticket on August 20, 2013

    Why? Cory is a very good player!

  3. Rob’s Thoughts: Cory Schneider and the goaltending soap opera returns to Vancouver | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Events, News, Food, Lifestyle and More on October 8, 2013

    […] his old team and his old friend Roberto Luongo. It’s been just over three months since the Canucks traded Schneider for the ninth overall pick (Bo Horvat), which elevated this drama to soap opera status here in Canuckland. Here are my […]


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