Cory Schneider

Columnist: It’s time for Canucks to trade Schneider


Canucks goalie Cory Schneider put on a spectacular performance last night at Rogers Arena, stopping 37 of 39 Chicago shots during Vancouver’s 3-2 overtime win. It marked the second time in a month the backup has started and won a game against a heated rival – on Jan. 7, Schneider got the nod over Roberto Luongo and earned a 4-3 victory over the Bruins in Boston.

Today Sportsnet columnist Mark Spector declared the time has come for the Canucks to cash in their blue-chip asset.

We’re not saying “Trade Schneider at all costs.” We are saying, shop him hard, and if you can get what the Canucks so dearly need — a second line winger with size, experience, grit and skill — then make the trade.

Could you get Rick Nash out of Columbus for a package including Schneider? Could you pry an Andrew Ladd from Winnipeg, where Schneider starred for the Manitoba Moose? A Kyle Okposo from the Isles, who need goaltending? Ryan Malone and a defenceman from Tampa?

Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis has said he’s loath to move Schneider, though we doubt he considers the 25-year-old untouchable. If Gillis gets an offer that blows him away, he’ll have a big decision to make. True, Vancouver doesn’t have much cap space at the moment, but room could be made, perhaps by moving Mason Raymond and/or Keith Ballard.

The risk of trading Schneider prior to the Feb. 27 deadline is that Luongo plays badly in the playoffs. Suffice to say Canucks fans would lose their minds if that happened. Not only would they feel trapped with Luongo and his marathon contract, they wouldn’t have Schneider around to give them hope Vancouver could still win a Cup while the window is open.

Oh, and there’s also the very real possibility Schneider gives the Canucks their best chance to win when he’s in net.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?