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Schneider to start, Luongo done in Vancouver?

Apr 18, 2012, 3:38 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider

Cory Schneider will start in goal for Vancouver tonight in Los Angeles, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault announced today.

In a related story, the Roberto Luongo era might be over in Vancouver.

But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Schneider started Sunday’s Game 3 of the Canucks-Kings series after Vancouver lost the first two games at home with Luongo between the pipes. The 26-year-old stopped 19 of 20 shots in a 1-0 defeat – a performance that earned him tonight’s nod, this time with the Presidents’ Trophy winners facing elimination.

“This one is do or die for us,” said Schneider. “I’m ready for it and I’ll be ready tonight.”

But the ramifications of the team’s decision go beyond the present. Clearly Luongo isn’t the undisputed No. 1 anymore. Not that’s he being blamed for the Canucks’ current predicament, but he’s not being asked to help them get out of it either. And that wouldn’t sit well with any starter.

Luongo is 33 years old and his contract runs until 2021-22 with a cap hit of $5.3 million. However, the notion that he’s untradeable is specious.

First off, he still boasted among the best numbers (.919 SV%) in the NHL this season. He’s played in numerous big games, and while not all those big games went well (and that’s putting it gently), a lot of them did. If not for Schneider’s exceptional play, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

Secondly, Luongo’s contract only technically runs until 2021-22. There’s no guarantee he’ll play the last three years when his actual salary is minimal.  It’s still a lengthy commitment, but we’ve seen teams take on these risks before.

So far as potential destinations go, Toronto could be one. Tampa Bay could be another. Ditto for Columbus and New Jersey. Florida always gets brought up, but the Panthers have Jacob Markstrom waiting in the wings.

No, Luongo hasn’t been traded yet.  But since he came to Vancouver in 2006, he’s never been closer to leaving.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I just can’t see him coming to the Leafs. They need goaltending but adding a vet like Luongo who wants to win doesn’t seem like the right move.

    I’ve always thought that Tampa is a Luongo away from being a serious contender.

    • lsxphotog - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      I’ve actually thought the same thing…but I was hoping that Luongo would play really well in net for them and go deep in the playoffs, then Van would dump Schneider to Tampa. We will see. He would be a good fit in Tampa without all the pressure he could just relax and play net for a team on the verge of another cup run.

  2. balewsquare - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    But then where will I one-stop shop to equally bash both team and goalie??

  3. loinstache - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Honestly I agree with this. The team is in need of a new atmosphere; the core is very good, but there are certain elements that are holding this team back. Regardless of what happens, there will be change… and during change who would you prefer, the 33 year old with a giant contract who definitely had a hand in creating the current environment, or the young rock solid goalie.

    It’s been great Luo, you really carried the team through a lot. However the mentality of this organization needs a clean start, and he’s among the first to point fingers at.

  4. zabala81 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Loungo is for sure done in Vancouver. So is the coach

  5. cweez2 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    “Gauthier isn’t Montreal’s GM anymore? Sh*t!”

    – Roberto Luongo

  6. mydadyourmom - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Luongo to the Leafs. Book it. They will get him on the cheap. They will improve greatly with him in the cage, vaulting up to 10th.

    • cweez2 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      it won’t be cheap, the team has to take his contract.

      • salmon90 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        His contract isn’t nearly as bad as everyone thinks – mainly because the organization can opt out in four more years. That with a cap hit of 5.3 mill (I think about the 8th highest goalie cap hit) isn’t all that bad.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        …which is why Burke is pushing for teams to be allowed to take on part of the contract of a player they trade. That way he can cash in on other team’s mistakes and be able to cover up his own with all that Tanenbaum cash.

  7. kitshky - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I’m confused, so is Schneider gonna play the point on the powerplay or replace Henrik on the midboards?

    • cableguymike - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      • kitshky - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        *sniff … that made me so happy … *sniff

  8. loinstache - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I think the Canucks mindset now is just offence offence offence. Do whatever to crack Quick, which does not involve a conserved balanced game (not that they were doing a great job of that anyway). Schneider is probably the safest bet in the back end while the rest of the team focuses on generating as many chances as possible.

    • themohel - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Just send a goon to knock Quick out of the series – Shanny might give him a few games; but what the hell, its all the rage to run the stars. Sportsmanship? Old news!!

      Sarc, in case its a question…

  9. bigbadbruins1968 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    LEBRON-GO!! LEBRON-GO!! LEBRON-GO!!

  10. thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Gonna be tough…the new NHL: find a large and relatively competent goalie, drape him with huge equipment, box-out every offensive thrust by collapsing four big men around the crease…goodnight Irene! Nashville’s doing it and La’s doing it while rolling-in a little more offensive splash but the formula’s the same. Time for the NHL to look at establishing a triangular key with a three second rule for all players; will stop the big pile-ups in front of the net and will create some air around the crease, for keepers and for snipers…

    • themohel - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      How about shrinking the goalie’s pads or making the goal a little bigger?

    • salmon90 - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      you can thumbs down countrybear all you want but his comment is bang-on. I’ve been saying this since I watched Nashville play in the regular season last year. Add St. Louis, Phoenix, Rangers into that mix along with many others. You can’t blame them – why wouldn’t they play that way. I’d just prefer to watch scoring chances instead of 50 blocked shots a game with defenders trying to score on 6 goalies.

  11. thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Good point and both ideas worthy of consideration…of course Luongo will pull a snit again while threatening to retire as he did the last time the NHL entertained the idea of a goal six inches wider and higher?

  12. jaybertx - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    The last thing Tampa needs is a goalie who is great until the games count… please no.

  13. proudliberal85392 - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Kings win series, Luongo and Vigneault are looking for jobs.

  14. 4Q - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    who’s going to pump luongo’s tires now?

  15. blomfeld - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    TO HELL WITH THIS MICHELIN MAN !

    The “pussified” Luongo will do exactly “as per” instructed by Madame Luongo and return to either Florida or Tampa Bay this summer, make no mistake about that ! … I personally suspect it’s going to be Tampa Bay. At any rate, the Canucks will have circa $45 million off their books and for that they should be eternally grateful, as the 12 year deal was a colossal mistake from the start.

    Nonetheless, we LA Kings fans don’t have time to concern ourselves with tripe like that. Tonight we’re again up against the Canuck’s “true # 1″ Cory Schneider and therefore terminating these “cornered and wounded” rats is not going to be easy, that’s for sure. I’m convinced that these furtive and unscrupulous Canucks have something up their sleeves for us tonight ? … I just can’t get a handle on exactly what that might be ? Regardless, we have to hit these bastards hard tonight ! … and then we have to hit them hard again and again ! GO KINGS GO ! :)

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