Feb 7, 2012, 4:04 PM EDT
“We’ve gotten calls about him for two years,” Gillis said. “There were times where we thought about [trading him], but we knew how good he was and I think he’s now proven to other people around the hockey world how good he is.”
Schneider, 25, has been a big part of Vancouver’s success this season, posting an 11-5-0 record with a 2.28 GAA and .928 save percentage. He’s also recorded wins against top-tier opposition — in Boston, in San Jose, against Chicago — emerging as a legitimate “1a” to Vancouver’s No. 1 netminder, Roberto Luongo.
There’s just one catch: Schneider’s an impending RFA and will be 26 in March. Many feel he’s ready to become a full-fledged NHL starter, something Gillis is aware of.
“There’s going to come a point where we’re going to have to make a decision as we move forward,” he said.
Of course, the Canucks don’t appear to have reached that point. Gillis said he has zero intention of dealing Schneider prior to the trade deadline, barring a monster offer.
“You never say never about anything, but this guy’s a huge part of our team,” Gillis said. “To take a huge part of your team off you team with a month left in the season and then playoffs is a challenging thing to do.”
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