Off with the Schneid?
Mark Spector thinks that Mike Gillis should trade Cory Schneider at or before the trade deadline:
The Canucks will be an annual Cup contender for a few years yet, but will they ever be more ready to win the Stanley Cup than they are today? They are experienced, their leaders are in their prime, and as we saw with Christian Ehrhoff, pieces of this lineup are more likely to break off as time passes.
So why short yourself by having your most valuable trade asset sitting on the bench wearing a ball cap this spring, rather than patrolling Ryan Kesler’s wing, at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds?
Because the asset is very likely more valuable sitting on the bench than what the Canucks can get back in a trade. Partly that is a belief that Schneider will see some action in the playoffs no matter what and partly because Luongo could get hurt and Schneider could play a lot. Having a quality backup goalie has value.
Mostly, however, keeping Schneider is a good idea because the Canucks don’t have the cap space to take on a player good enough to actually help them win. While one can imagine a five or six player package deal, it is hard to imagine one that would more than marginally improve the Canucks. There is risk in making significant change and the Canucks do not have to take a risk. The players available at the deadline are usually pending free agents and hardly ever make a significant difference.
Cory Schneider is definitely an asset, one that several teams are apparently interested in acquiring. He is going to be traded eventually, but it is much better to wait until the playoffs are over. That’s when Gillis can make the best trade because that’s when he will have – or can create – some salary cap flexibility and that’s when other teams are remaking rosters.
A good Schneider trade is one that will help the 2014-15 Canucks stay near the top of the league. A good trade might be available before the deadline, but I will be very surprised. That good trade is much more likely to be around in June.
Until then, what’s wrong with having a great backup goalie?