Thursday, September 3, 2009

Luongo In, Schneider Out?

The Vancouver Canucks remain tight with the rumour mill on Thursday, as Cory Schneider has fully vested himself among all the whispers and nods about his possible fate, which seems to be popular after Roberto Luongo signed his 12-year deal on Wednesday.

Schneider is widely-considered to be one of the best goaltending prospects in the NHL, which should make him a very valuable blue chip to move for the Canucks. has Schneider ranked as the second best goalie prospect (behind Tukka Rask of the Bruins) and he should draw some interest from a number of clubs, who are lacking in the goaltending department at the moment.

The Canucks should be in cap space clearing mode at the moment, especially after the deals that brought Christian Ehrhoff and Mathieu Schneider to the team, as they have found themselves just over the cap ceiling number. Speculation around the team suggests that the young keeper could be packaged in a deal with a defenseman to help clear out that cap space and they would try and pick up either some prospects or a much-needed scoring forward in return.

The Canucks, if they were to just clear space by getting prospects in return, would likely put whatever extra money forward to help re-signing Mats Sundin before training camp.

If there was any question in my mind, it would be whether or not there are any desperate teams out there for a bluechip goaltending prospect, who may be able to jump into the NHL right away. You could look at a team like Colorado, who doesn't have much for goaltending at the moment, but they also don't have much to offer beyond their core players in return. The Red Wings have very little beyond the aging Chris Osgood, so does that put them into the picture? The Dallas Stars are wailing beyond Marty Turco. Do the Devils need an insurance plan for the future beyond Martin Brodeur? The Coyotes may need a real starter one of these days.

I would imagine that the Canucks will likely hold onto Schneider for the time being, worrying about clearing cap space through players who are actually on the roster. A package deal would likely come out of some team that has some room to give and a need for a goalie like Schneider.

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