Friday, January 22, 2010

Backes for Schneider

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics
To VancouverPositionAgeGPGoalsPoints2010 Cap Hit2011 Cap Hit
David BackesForward25491026$2.5 million$2.5 million
To St. LouisPositionAgeMINWinsPoints2010 Cap Hit2011 Cap Hit
Cory SchneiderGoaltender237800$1.084 millionRFA

An interesting trade rumour floated through Twitter this afternoon and I thought I would have a look at its validity. The Canucks would finally send blue-chip goaltender, Cory Schneider, away to St. Louis and in return, the Blues would send gritty forward, David Backes.

This is a very curious deal, especially since we are coming to the time of rental deals, where this deal has plenty of long-term value. The Blues would get a new franchise goaltender and the Canucks would get some more speed and grit for at least another season after this.

For the Canucks, they would upgrade their depth with a former 30-goal scorer in Backes, which has to be a very tempting player to pick up. Backes would likely slot between the second and third line, depending on chemistry, production and discipline.

For the Blues, they are on the verge of unrestricted free agency with Chris Mason and they only have one year remaining with Ty Conklin, so they would likely be giving Schneider a year behind Conklin, which would be valuable for his NHL experience.

Salary CapSince this deal would see a player join the Canucks without giving up a roster player, there might be some complications, especially with the return of Pavol Demitra to their line-up this month. The Canucks would have to likely free up some space, which may also include another player or two in this deal.

In terms of the 2011, the Blues are in full flexibility mode, having only 12 players signed on for an approximate cap hit of $28.5 million. They will be happy to take a piece like Schneider and build around him. The Canucks, on the other hand, have most of their core in place and are paying for this core for years to come. They currently have 13 players signed on for $42.6 million, which doesn't leave a great deal for depth, but that's the trick of management.

I do like this deal a whole lot, especially being a Canucks fan. The potential of Cory Schneider being a good NHL goalie is there and David Backes has the ability to score 30 goals, so the value does seem to be there. Backes did miss the Blues' last game with an upper-body injury, so if there is supposed to be a hiccup on this deal, it would be that.

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