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.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Sunday.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.