Curious tidbit in Bruce Garrioch’s weekly NHL rumors piece for the Ottawa Sun. According to Garrioch, “The talk among league executives is the Canucks have dangled [Roberto] Luongo in trade circles, but haven’t been able to find anybody interested in his $5.3-million cap hit and contract that runs through the 2021-22 season. [Cory] Schneider will be shipped out at some point.”
Vancouver’s goaltending debate has been one of the more contentious ones this season, but I can’t recall a reporter – albeit a reporter whose trade rumors have been ridiculed in the past – citing league sources that the Canucks have explored dealing Luongo.
Decide for yourself how much credence to lend to this particular rumor.
At the very least, it begs the question, could the Canucks trade Luongo if they wanted to? It’s easy – and quite possibly correct – to say no, given his questionable play and marathon contract.
However, we’re still talking about a goalie that’s coming off his third Vezina-nominated season while backstopping the Canucks to within a game of winning the Stanley Cup. Which is to say, there are worse résumés than that.
It should also be noted that, while his contract technically runs until 2021-22, he earns minimal salary the last four seasons of the deal.
Finally, there’s the matter of the new CBA that will (hopefully) be in place in time for next season. Could the new agreement include clauses that make moving big contracts easier? Maybe a team will be able to trade a player while maintaining responsibility for part of his salary.
For what it’s worth, I don’t see the Canucks trading Schneider before the playoffs. If they did, it would have to be an amazing deal. Otherwise, the time is now for Vancouver. If Schneider can help, it makes sense for him to stay.