NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The Vancouver Canucks talking about trading a goaltender has become the norm in the past year. But usually it’s Roberto Luongo.
This time, general manager Mike Gillis is getting calls about Cory Schneider, and he’s at least entertaining the possibility of moving him.
“You have to listen,” Gillis said Saturday. “If you’re in any business, you have to listen to what the proposals may be and act accordingly. That’s what we’re doing.
At 27-years-old and a manageable cap hit of US$4 million over the next two seasons, Schneider never seemed to be the logical choice for the Canucks if they were to trade a goalie. Luongo is 34 and is set to count $5.3 million on a deal that pays him $40.57 million over the next nine years.
It has been well-known that the Canucks are trying to trade Luongo, and there’s plenty of speculation that he could be a compliance-buyout candidate. Schneider’s contract is more attractive to other teams, but that’s not why Gillis thinks the younger goalie is drawing interest.
“I think he’s a very good, young player and teams are after good, young players all the time,” Gillis said. “We get calls all the time about our young players, and he’s one of them.”
Gillis said he wasn’t surprised Schneider was a subject of talks. “Never say never” was his reply when one reporter suggested that Schneider wouldn’t be going anywhere.
But Gillis doesn’t know if he’ll get a deal done for one of his goalies by the end of Sunday’s NHL draft.
“We’re going to see how it goes,” he said. “Obviously we’re listening to proposals, and I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, but we’re certainly listening.”
The Canucks have been listening to offers for Luongo for a while. But the veteran with a no-trade clause isn’t being consulted in trade talks at this time.
“It’s not until we have some kind of frame that we can go to him and have a discussion,” Gillis said.
While the Canucks might be driving the trade market on goalies, it’s in flux thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers using a compliance buyout on Ilya Bryzgalov and the Toronto Maple Leafs acquiring Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings. Reports have surfaced that the Buffalo Sabres are talking to teams about Ryan Miller, too.
“It’s a changing landscape you have to adjust to,” Gillis said. “Right now there’s a lot of stuff in the air, there’s a lot of balls in the air and included in that is compliance buyout situations. You just have to try and stay fluid and react to things as they come your way.”
That includes listening to what other teams are willing to give up for Schneider. Asked if a prospect and a first-round pick would be enough, Gillis said, “It all depends on the team and on the pick.”