When it comes to the NHL, it is tough for fans to watch someone that they identify with a team leave that team and move elsewhere.
More than likely, this will not be the case when it comes to the Vancouver Canucks and Roberto Luongo. Luongo, who signed a 12-year, $64 million extension with the Canucks in 2009, reportedly agreed to waive his no trade clause (NTC) last week as he realizes that the Canucks’ net is no longer his.
No, folks. The Canucks’ net is now property 0f 26-year-old Cory Schneider.
For the past few seasons, Schneider has showed that he is more than capable of being a starting netminder in the National Hockey League. This season, for example, Schenider played in 33 games and put up staggering numbers as he picked up 20 wins, had a goals against average of under 2.00 (1.95), a save percentage of .937 and 3 shutouts.
Not only did Schneider perform well in the regular season, but he also played well for his team in a losing effort to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings. After the team lost with Luongo between the pipes for Games 1 and 2, Canucks’ head coach Alain Vigneault decided to go with Schneider with Game 3 and ended up sticking with him for the rest of the series.
In three games, Schneider went 1-2 with a 1.31 goals against average and a .960 save percentage as he stopped 97 of the 101 shots he faced in the series. It certainly makes one wonder what the series would have been like if Schneider started from the get go.
Schneider has now shown the Canucks and the rest of the league that he can be consistent in both the regular season and the playoffs and that he is ready to take over the net for the Canucks moving forward. In fact, this may have been apparent last season but given the fact that Luongo has such a big and long-term contract, it only made sense for the Canucks to try and get the most for their money.
While the Canucks may not exactly have been able to do that, it appears that no matter what they do with Luongo, the team will be set in the net for the forseeable future and perhaps long-term with Schneider being the man in net.
Patrick Hoffman is a veteran hockey writer/blogger based in Fairfield, Connecticut.
On top of his work for Kukla’s Korner, Patrick covers the NHL for the Red Light District Hockey Blog and also contributes to Sportsnet.ca.
Prior to writing for the above-mentioned outlets, Hoffman’s musings have been published on TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Spector’s Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com, here on NHL Home Ice from 2008 to 2009, as well as a slew of others.