As if to stoke the fires of the never ending goaltending saga that swirls in Vancouver, Canucks management decided to make up for the lack of Luongo rumors today by signing Cory Schneider.
The 1st round, 26th overall draft pick in 2004 signed a three year 12 million dollar deal which comes out to a cap hit of four million a year.
If it wasn’t already obvious, Schneider’s deal is a clear signal that Luongo will be dealt. The prospect of keeping a combined 9.333 million tied up in goaltending (4 to Schneider and 5.333 to Luongo) is simply one that’s undesirable, and the likelihood that the Canucks are executing a sign-and-trade with Schneider is highly unlikely given the excellent way in which the organization has treated its players (with a slight exception to one Cody Hodgson).
Comparing Schneider’s contract to others who signed today, the Canucks got a reasonable deal. Being a three year deal, Schneider will get a good timeframe in which to hopefully establish himself as Vancouver’s goalie long term. When you look at a deal like Tukka Rask who signed a one year deal worth 3.5 million dollars, or Jonas Hiller, who earns 4.5 million per year and has played more, Schneider’s deal stands out as neither an amazing deal or an overpayment; rather it’s quite nearly the right amount for a highly touted goalie who has performed well, but still has much to prove over the course of a full season as the team’s starting goaltender.
With Schneider locked up, Luongo’s fate in Vancouver is all but sealed. But let’s be real here. The Canucks’ issue this past season wasn’t goaltending. Luongo played well and couldn’t carry the team, and when Schneider took the reigns he didn’t get any support either. The reality is, the guys outside the crease will have to do a much better job, and this whole goaltending travesty coming into its final chapters means we’re that much closer to resolving that issue; the sooner Luongo’s gone the more management can focus on that.
For some more analysis, you can check out an article we did a while back which accurately predicted one of the options available to the Canucks regarding Schneider’s contract.