Regardless of how the playoffs end for the Canucks, things could get messy in Vancouver. With a big win in Game 4 on Wednesday, Cory Schneider has once again proved that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender – and he will probably get that chance in 2012-13.
Schneider will be a restricted free agent this summer and he deserves a big raise from his current $900,000 salary.
That means Vancouver’s cap hit spent on goaltenders is about to get ridiculous unless they part ways with one of their goaltenders.
At this point, it seems far more likely that Vancouver will attempt to trade Roberto Luongo, but obviously that comes with a few problems. His $5,333,333 annual cap hit is on the high-end for an aging goaltender, especially one that is signed through 2021-22.
He also has a no-trade clause, and while he’s probably not going to force the Canucks to keep him, he might tie their hands by limiting the number of teams he’s willing to go to. Add that to the fact that, as good as Luongo is, the number of teams in the market for a starting goaltender is usually shallow these days – as Tomas Vokoun and Evgeni Nabokov found out when they tried to find work as unrestricted free agents in recent summers.
Even the younger, much more affordable, Jaroslav Halak, coming off a year where he led the eighth place Montreal Canadiens all the way to the Eastern Conference finals only netted his team Lars Eller and Ian Schultz when Montreal shopped him that summer.
That all said, Luongo is still a good, established starter and he’s likely to attract some attention. You look at a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs or Tampa Bay Lightning and have to think there’s potential there.
So yes, Luongo is tradable, but if Vancouver decides to go that route, will they get a king’s ransom for him? Probably not.