Could two become none?
There was much shock and uncertainty in Vancouver last Sunday when Mike Gillis flipped Cory Schneider at the draft to the hometown Devils for the eighth overall pick. Shock for the culmination of the two-headed goaltending cloud that has hung over the Canucks since Schneider joined the Manitoba Moose way back in 2007. The logical conclusion, then, was that Cory Schneider would be moved for a high return and six years later that’s exactly what happened.
It’s how we got here that has been so shocking.
When Max Lapierre scored in the final moments of Game 5 to give the Canucks a 3-2 series lead over Boston it marked the final moment that the events surrounding the Canucks’ crease would follow a linear logic.
What followed was a pair of cup clinching meltdowns, followed by a hangover season that saw Cory Schneider emerge the undisputed starter through no real fault of Roberto Luongo‘s, other than the performance level of the team in front of him. Schneider would quickly find out that starter can be quite the subjective word in Vancouver, spending the next year continuing to split starts with Luongo and finding himself on the bench to start the playoffs.
And just when the entire situation threatened to completely swallow the team alive, Schneider was shockingly moved to New Jersey to be the heir apparent to a different veteran Quebecois goaltender with a gold medal.
But hey, it’s over right? It was a roundabout route fraught with self-inflicted injuries but the Canucks have their one true goaltender and a top 10 pick for the other one. Giddy up, right, and we’ll all move on and never speak of this period again.
Not so fast. Roberto Luongo still isn’t back in the fold. After being left for dead with his departure painfully strung out over 12 long months, it’s no small detail to get him to re-commit to the Vancouver Canucks.
Roberto Luongo is still looking at his options. We don’t know yet if he’ll accept to go back to Vancouver. #RDS
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) July 5, 2013
The Canucks realize that reconciliation is the next point of order and to that end have sent owner Francesco Aquilini and Mike Gillis down to Florida to attempt to convince Luongo that Taylor Swfit was right.
It’s no easy task for a goaltender that has been planning to move on since this time last year. As great as Luongo’s attitude has been through all of this, it was predicated on the belief that he would eventually find a new home with none of the baggage he’s collected in Vancouver.
Instead, the all-star who already sold his place is now being asked to forget this whole thing ever happened.
It’s not shocking, then, that Roberto has refused and cancelled media requests in the week after the trade and would only discuss poker with CFOX this morning. Even his popular twitter account has been dead quiet since the trade, updated only with a shout out to Schneider and a quick “#NOtradeclause”.
He’s no guarantee to report to training camp and until he says he will, this goaltending situation remains unresolved. Luongo choosing to remain on the sidelines creates numerous problems for the Canucks to resolve by September, including just who would end up being the number one goalie in his absence.
Still, Luongo has two months to become comfortable with the thought of returning to business as normal in Vancouver, and would do so under a new coach who had nothing to do with the original decision to go with Cory Schneider. With this being an Olympic year as well, it’s hard to imagine personal pride trumping professional pride, not to mention the financial motives of returning to the collect on the contract that played such a large role in the mess initially.
Until that happens however, anything is possible. I mean, just look at last week and try to tell me that any option is off the table.
So hold on Canucks fans, because the biggest day of the offseason is yet to arrive, the day when Luongo finally comments publically and either re-commits to the Vancouver Canucks or sends this drawn-out ordeal down another rabbit hole.
Check out this great video of Luongo: