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Canucks’ Schneider: ‘It just seems like a lost year’

May 8, 2013, 12:04 PM EDT

Cory Schneider

In the wake of an opening-round sweep — and their second opening-round loss in a row — the Canucks are facing many questions about what the future has in store.

One player, though, summed up the present quite succinctly.

“It’s frustrating,” Cory Schneider told the Globe and Mail. “It just seems like a lost year for some of these guys and myself included.”

“Lost year” might be the perfect way to sum up this season, especially in goal.

Schneider spent the first year of his three-year, $12 million deal embroiled in an awkward situation while Roberto Luongo spent his 13th NHL campaign as an overpaid backup, appearing in a career-low 20 contests.

The situation in net overshadowed the entire season and hamstrung the Canucks on a number of fronts.

Not a day passed without questions about the Schneider-Luongo saga, and the financial pinch — the two ate up $9.3 million of cap space — stuck out like a sore thumb.

When looking at the collective age of the club, the “lost year” comment rings especially true, and has to burn.

Core players like Dan Hamhuis, Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin are all now on the wrong side of 30 and, by the start of next season, so too will Chris Higgins.

As such, GM Mike Gillis is receiving a tremendous amount of heat for his decision to stand largely pat (or stubborn, depending on your perspective).

Here’s Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun:

Meanwhile, Canuck management is carrying a plethora of albatrosses into the off-season — roughly $13.8 million worth of wasted contracts with Roberto Luongo twiddling his thumbs, Keith Ballard evidently consigned to the discard heap and the ever-injured, grossly overrated David Booth taking up space — and unless Gillis can go, cap in hand, to owner Francesco Aquilini and ask him to buy out a couple of them, and eat some of Luongo’s salary in order to move him, they will be hamstrung when they try to re-stock the shelves…

…And still we search in vain for the compelling reason to fire Vigneault that’s such a popular theme as this team’s era of excellence winds down, and Gillis’s loyal cornermen try to misdirect the responsibility.

Anyone who thinks that arranging the forward lines differently, or changing the defence pairs, or putting this player or that out on the ice at the end of a game would have made the difference is dreaming in Technicolor.

Should be an interesting offseason in Vancouver.

  1. colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Gota feel for Luongo, he is the one who lost a year of goaltending prime to watch Cory lose.

    • dropthepuckeh - May 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Feel for Luongo? Is it your job to pump his tires? He is a grossly overpaid whining backup. He is a perfect fit for Vancouver in that regard.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        You’re acting like he’s some borderline AHL goalie, the fact is he’s still an elite goalie in the league.

      • sharksman - May 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        as a sharks fan I have to say Luongo has not been a whining backup he appears to have said all the right things and been a really good teammate. Overpaid OH YEAH but not a whiner
        And for the record there are some good canucks fans out there ( I know a couple lol )

      • colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        You mean Luongo, the only goalie in NHL history to lead two NHL franchises in wins? Most overtime wins in NHL history? Guy who posted 4 shutouts enroute to the finals? If we can recall he gave the Canucks a chance to win the Cup.

        It’s not his fault that management in Vancouver is bushleague. Only thing you can fault Luongo for is signing the contract, and even then most people are lieing if they say they wouldn’t sign it.

  2. sjawesome - May 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    • ibieiniid - May 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      made you eat your parents, made you eat your parents.

    • sanjosecupcrazy - May 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Haha….. LOVE THIS

      • colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Congrats, the Sharks were the better team in this series. I would stay classy though Sharks fans, the Blackhawks are still something that needs to be dealt with.

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Every year the Canucks have Schneider as their starter will be a lost year, he’s not that good. If they were smart (and Gillis is not) they would trade Schneider and keep Luongo, Schneider has a contract that’s easier to move and they’ll get more for him.

    • timmmah10 - May 8, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      It’s unpopular, I know, but I agree. Move Schneider. Ballard comes off the books with a (free cap) buy out probably and Booth they’ll have to roll the dice with again next year. He’s a good player when healthy…

      Vancouver has a good roster, and will continue to compete, but they will need to make some pretty savvy moves this offseason to be a serious competitor again.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        It’ll be very unpopular but Canucks fans need to look at the facts:
        -Luongo has won an Olympic gold (although he did look shaky in the final) and taken the Canucks to a SCF
        -Luongo’s contract is only moveable if the Canucks get nothing in return
        -Schneider will get a good return because he’s young and his contract is friendlier
        -The Canucks have Eddie Lack ready to come in and be the backup goalie for a year or two before becoming the starter.

        The Canucks will go with either Schneider or Luongo as a starter next year and Lack as backup, is better for the Canucks (a team in need of fresh blood) to trade Luongo away and get almost nothing in return or trade Schneider get a roster player and prospect as a minimum (the Canucks are ranked 28th in organizational rankings for prospects)?

        As a Flames fan I’d love for them to screw this up big time, but as a hockey fan who’s looking at the situation from a distance, with no emotional attachment to either player, I think it’s better to have Luongo and the players you get in a trade rather than Schneider and nothing else.

    • elvispocomo - May 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      If that were truly the case that Schneider is not that good, wouldn’t the other GMs also realize it and not give up more to get him?

      “Oh hey, this guy has a better contract, so instead of giving up less for the other guy who can help us win, let’s give up more for the guy who’s not that good!”

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        Allow me to clarify, I don’t think he’s any better than Luongo at this point, I think a combo of Luongo and Lack plus adding the assets you get from a Schneider trade is worth way more than a Schneider/Lack combo with no assets coming back for Luongo.

        Schneider is a good NHL goalie, and significant upgrade over what many teams have in net currently, but what has he done in his career to signify that he’s an upgrade over Luongo? The positives that he does have (young, lots of potential) you already have in Eddie Lack.

  4. DTF31 - May 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Arranging the lines differently might not change much. But what about AV not finding a way to make Kesler pass the puck? Or getting Edler to play well? What about the system of always sitting on leads, and blowing them, that cost them more games than it won? What about terrible bench and shift management? That’s coaching.

  5. bardown66 - May 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    It’s ok Vancouver. Unless Crosby and Lemieux get this locker room under control (bylsma sure as hell can’t do it) te penguins will be out soon too. As much as it pains me to say that.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      The difference between the two situations is that Bylsma will get another NHL job this year (I assume he’ll be fired if they lose in the first round) Vigneault will not.

      I wonder if either team will give a new younger coach (Dallas Eakins) a chance or if they’ll go with another retread?

      • bardown66 - May 8, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        I’ve never been a big fan bylsma fan. He won with terrien’s team. As for AV, I think his time is up. Dallas eakin is going to be the hot commodity for sure. I wouldn’t be shocked if Scar face guy Boucher got another chance. Boucher has a nice stable system. Tampa just couldn’t run it. He’d help both teams IMO.

      • kitshky - May 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        If you don’t think a coach with Vigneaults resume will get snapped up almost immediately you’re letting your emotions dictate your thoughts.

        Vigneaults isn’t even10 years older than Bylsma, is still a relatively young man with a winning resume and will hired as soon as he wants to be.

        (and before you say it, if a coach has to win a Stanley Cup to be considered a winning coach then there’d be a hell of a lot less coaches in the league)

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        It has to do with perception, Vancouver has won 5 straight division crowns and the President’s trophy twice, yet they didn’t win a cup in that time, and have lost in the first round the past two years, the label of underachievers is firmly attached to the Canucks right now and as a result Vigneault is now labelled as a coach of teams who underachieve.

        Granted Bylsma’s teams have also underachieved but because he does have the Stanley Cup on his resume he’s labelled a winner.

        Do I think Bylsma is a better coach than Vigneault? Probably not, but because of perceptions Bylsma will be hired immediately, Vigneault will have to wait a year or two before being given another chance. And IMO the difference will be (again due to perception) Bylsma will be given a job with a team that’s close but needs a push to get over the top, Vigneault will get a job with a team who will be excited just to make it into the playoffs.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      I’d love for the Flames to hire Eakins, his Marlies teams play a stifling defensive style but they’re also amongst the top teams in the AHL in scoring, it would be great to have a coach who seems to be able to have it both ways. Unfortunately it seems like Feaster will keep Hartley on as the HC here, so my hopes have switched to him not ending up with the Canucks or Oilers.

  6. thesableo - May 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I’m no Vancouver fan, but man do I feel for Canucks season ticket holders. I’m sure they love hearing that they spent thousands on a “lost year”.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      That fan base is full of fair weather fans, they don’t mind spending the thousands because they got to be seen at the arena while the team was good, as soon as this team looks to be on the way down (which may have started in this year’s playoffs) they’ll cancel their tickets.

      The notion that Vancouver is a great hockey city is a myth, they’re great when they’re winning.

      • colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        It’s not that Vancouver is a great hockey city.. It’s that they have an entire province behind them. I live on the Island and the support is just as strong here, same as the lower mainland.

  7. barroomhero80 - May 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    LMFAO!

  8. kicksave1980 - May 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    If you guys want to see comedy gold, check out the Canucks message board. Make sure you have your tinfoil on first. People, en masse, are talking about conspiracy theories and suing the league/officials due to the penalties dished out in that series.

    • ibieiniid - May 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      RIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOT

    • colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      Not much different than what usually populates that cesspool of a mesageboard.

      Congrats guy, you have taken the time to read through the Canucks message board just to make this comment. Say what you want about Canucks fans but that is some straight trolling.

    • elvispocomo - May 8, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      And the people on FOX News (and that watch FOX News) are representative of the whole of the US right?

      Fox Airs Segment On How To Sue Obama Administration ‘If You Want To Do It Yourself’:

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/08/02/111057/fox-hcr-recuitment/

  9. hockeyfan28 - May 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    The Canucks have alot of guys that need to find different homes but Alex Burrows is a player easily the best Canuck
    on the ice

    • colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Alex Burrows is the most penalized player in the NHL. If the Canucks want to change the culture of the team, he needs to go.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        I agree, the Canucks need to do some bold things if they want to change the culture enough to keep the window open, getting rid of some players (like Burrows or Kessler) might be unpopular with fans but it could bring enough in return and help change the culture enough where they can keep winning. They’re way past a minor addition here or there being enough.

        Being a Flames fan I’m very familiar with watching a team think that they’re good enough just a veteran or two away, Vancouver is starting down that slippery slope, and like the Flames the past few years they lack the prospects in the system to breath new life into the team when they finally realize it.

  10. colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I agree. Some fans think that you can trade nothing for something… Nope. Canucks need to trade one of the few pieces that is working, in order to change the voices in the dressing room.

  11. garyhall1967 - May 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Gillis did not create a Stanley Cup contender. Either Goalie with proper personnel could have done well in playoffs. The Canucks personnel in front of the goalie and and the teams style of play is not built for a successful Playoff Hockey run.
    The team needs to have a stronger more grittier style of play. Players need to want to go into corners, fight for space in front of the net for those garbage goals. This doesn’t mean there is no room for skill players, just to say that you don’t have the grit or the gumption to hang around.
    Maybe this means lower seed in full season standings but you will be happier in grind of Playoff hockey.
    So this is Gillis. He put team together. The players did what they did best. Unfortunately the this created a style of play and combined a group of players that don’t work toward a long playoff run.

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