While we’re sure that the Andrew Raycroft years in Vancouver are going to be remembered fondly, it’s now time for the permanent prospect in the Canucks system to take over the role as Roberto Luongo’s backup. The Canucks locked in Cory Schneider to a new deal.
The Canucks agreed to terms with the former first-round draft pick on Wednesday. Schneider, 24, is expected to be Roberto Luongo’s caddy next season, after playing 10 NHL games over the last two seasons.
The Canucks are hoping that Schneider, a Marblehead, Mass., native, pushes Luongo, and creates more trade value in his first full-fledged NHL campaign. Luongo is under contracts for the next 12 years, while Schneider has dominated the American Hockey League for the last three seasons.
Schneider isn’t just an American, he’s also a former college kid as he played at Boston College. Schneider has been outstanding in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose posting fantastic numbers with the Moose through his last three seasons in the minors. As for the deal itself, it’s for two years worth a total of $1.8 million and it’s a one-way deal meaning that Schneider is there to stay or else he goes through waivers to go back down.
The only question remaining now is how many games will he get to start. Getting Roberto Luongo a break more often than not could pay off in the playoffs for the Canucks. Luongo this past season played in 68 games and that’s not counting all the work he had during the Olympics. The ultimate aim here for Vancouver should be to get Schneider about 20 starts during the year. If Luongo ends up playing in 70 games again, it’s detrimental to both him and Schneider because they’ll be on the opposite ends of wasting away.
Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games in, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.