LeBrun: "Dealing Away Schneider Doesn't Necessarily Solve the Luongo Mess"

Thomas Drance
June 29 2013 12:47PM

In writing up the "Schneider on the block" reports which surfaced earlier today, we invoked "the Madman theory" which was a major tenant of Tricky Dick Nixon's foreign policy posture in the mid-70s. In sticking with that theme, we're reminded also of the Vietnam War and how backdoor diplomatic outreach with the communist Chinese government, in some ways, gave the Nixon administration the breathing room necessary to pull out of Vietnam in a way that saved face geopolitically.

It's that type of redemptive maneuver that Mike Gillis is going to need to pull off in New York City this weekend with his goaltending situation. Of course that's easier said than done and what was already a bit of a mess is really on the verge of becoming something significantly more malignant. Writes ESPN's Pierre LeBrun in his Saturday Rumblings:

"Dealing away Schneider -- assuming it even happens -- doesn’t necessarily solve the Luongo mess. I believe Luongo wants out regardless. Trading Schneider I don’t think would change his feelings on that.

Yikes. Read past the jump.

Of course this comes as no surprise - Luongo wants out, and has for a while, and that particular bridge is probably too damaged by fire to be saved. What's more interesting is LeBrun's confirmation, from a variety of sources including a General Manager who believes it makes sense and a player agent who is sure that Dreger's original report is accurate, that Schneider is in fact in play this weekend.

According to LeBrun the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders all have interest, and it would beggar belief that the Canucks would willingly trade a goaltender they believe to be a future star and franchise goaltender within the newly christened "Division A."

As Spock famously says in Star Trek VI: "Only Nixon could go to China." What I'm not sure that Nixon could do is successfully trade Roberto Luongo,...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 van
June 29 2013, 12:56PM
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What leverage does Luongo have? If he gets waived, he gets to keep his contract, but has no say in where he goes. He'd only get bought out if no one picks him up off waivers, which is unlikely. How can he force his way out? Doubt he'd go the route of not reporting to training camp and walk away from his contract.

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#2 CheapBillionaire
June 29 2013, 12:56PM
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Strome + 2nd for Schneider.

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#3 pheenster
June 29 2013, 01:09PM
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CheapBillionaire wrote:

Strome + 2nd for Schneider.

Schneider is worth a bit more than that.

I still believe that this ends with Luongo going to the Islanders. Aquilini is clearly willing to buy out DiPietro's enormous contract, or the rumours that surfaced yesterday wouldn't have surfaced. I think that at the end of the day using someone else's money to do that will be too appealing a prospect to Charles Wang to ignore.

Luongo and Ballard to NYI for Dipietro and Nino, and possibly a pick but that's probably getting greedy. That said, if I'm going to spend $24-million of my dollars to buy out a guy that never played a game for me, I'm going to be a little greedy.

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#4 NM00
June 29 2013, 01:19PM
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@pheenster

"Aquilini is clearly willing to buy out DiPietro's enormous contract, or the rumours that surfaced yesterday wouldn't have surfaced."

How do you figure? It could be as simple as NYI trying to find a sucker to take DiPietro and the Canucks politely declining.

It's all just guesses at this point.

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#5 Joel
June 29 2013, 01:27PM
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I think the Luongo stays, Schneider goes option was a real possibility... up until Aquilini decided to gift Gillis with a shot at redemption and then signed Torts to a 5 year deal.

IMHO, Luongo is only happy staying if both AV and Gillis were gone, which is only fair given how long this debacle has dragged on.

Of course, if there is a lot of grovelling by Gillis, and Luongo (or his agent) are pragmatic enough to realize that being in Vancouver if you hate the GM is better than being in Long Island, because you clearly aren't being traded to Florida or it would have happened already...

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#6 joel
June 29 2013, 01:29PM
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@Joel

PS. I forgot to add that I think Luongo is too much of a pro to sit out and try to force a trade.

If he was going to be a prima donna and go that route, it would have already happened.

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#7 NM00
June 29 2013, 01:39PM
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Why not trade Schneider and then see what the offers are for Lou?

Trading Schneider shouldn't preclude trading Lou. It is still a bad contract after all.

Hawks won a cup with a middling Niemi. Bruins won a cup a few months after trying to trade Thomas. A year before Quick won the cup with the Kings he wasn't considered a top 10 goalie. The Hawks won with Crawford and he wasn't a sure fire starting goalie, either.

Point being, a team can win a cup with almost any goalie these days.

Trade Schneider for the best package available to help next year's team. Trade Luongo if his market improves or keep him.

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#8 Dave Krieg
June 29 2013, 01:42PM
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I think, obviously, Schneids gets you a very good return (MUCH more than Strome + a second...MUCH more). It will give the Nucks some much needed youth and keep them competitive for longer.

I don't think Lu would have an issue sticking in Vancouver. Even if he does, too bad. He signed the contract. Gillis and Lu will now have to deal with this mess.

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#9 NM00
June 29 2013, 02:04PM
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Dave Krieg wrote:

I think, obviously, Schneids gets you a very good return (MUCH more than Strome + a second...MUCH more). It will give the Nucks some much needed youth and keep them competitive for longer.

I don't think Lu would have an issue sticking in Vancouver. Even if he does, too bad. He signed the contract. Gillis and Lu will now have to deal with this mess.

It's easy to say "too bad he signed the contract". Do you think he would have signed the contract if he knew Gillis would change course two years into the contract and then change course again?

By the same token, do you think Schneider would have signed his contract had he known Gillis would have him in play a year later?

Of course the relationship with Lou can be ended. I mean, there may not be any other choice.

But this whole debacle can't have helped the perception of how Vancouver treats its players under the Gillis regime.

Hodgson, Lou, Malhotra have requested trades and Samuelsson took parting shots at management as well.

None of this bodes well for the future.

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#10 Dave Krieg
June 29 2013, 02:42PM
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@NM00

I am almost positive Lu, and any other pro athlete, would've thought about the possibility of being dealt and circumstances changing. Absolutely. I think they'd have to be moronic to assume things would stay the same. No chance especially in pro sports.

I am positive Gillis has tried his hardest to deal Lu. No takers that would bring back anything. It doesn't matter what Schneids thought, in my opinion. Pro teams are way too dynamic to assume things won't change at the drop of a hat.

Finally, I have no idea where you come up with info regarding perception as to how the Canucks treat players. Nucks seem to treat them well, go the extra mile for players and have a good rep. Lu did not request a trade and is only being shopped because there can only be one starting keeper. Manny was treated like gold and has no negatives to say about the Canucks. CoHo Cancer was a pain and good riddance to him. Samuelsson is bitter and seems to slag others after the fact (just like when Team Sweden left him off the Olympic team etc).

This article might be a couple years old but it might educate you as to desirable teams to play for:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/allstar/poll/arenas-and-teams/what-team-would-you-most-like-to-play-on/

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#11 NM00
June 29 2013, 03:13PM
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@Dave Krieg

"I am positive Gillis has tried his hardest to deal Lu."

Based on what? Every indication is that Gillis has overplayed his hand. Badly.

"It doesn't matter what Schneids thought, in my opinion."

Yes it does. You know, assuming the Canucks would like to keep Schneider when his contract expires in two years.

"Finally, I have no idea where you come up with info regarding perception as to how the Canucks treat players. Nucks seem to treat them well, go the extra mile for players and have a good rep."

The instances of the last 2 years with CoHo, Sammy, Manny & their two goalies may change that.

"Lu did not request a trade"

Uh what?

" CoHo Cancer"

Nobody has anything but good things to say about Coho aside from the Vancouver organization. Maybe they are the issue? Maybe Gary Roberts is right to have called Mike Gillis an idiot?

"Samuelsson is bitter"

I'm sure.

"Manny was treated like gold and has no negatives to say about the Canucks"

He twice requested and was denied a trade last season and disagrees with Gillis' decision.

"This article might be a couple years old but it might educate you as to desirable teams".

That was during the Canucks best season in franchise history.

Things have changed. Clearly.

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#12 antro
June 29 2013, 04:17PM
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I don't see why Luongo can't stay--Gillis made a lot of public noise to take the blame for not being able to trade Luongo ("it's me, not him")...plus, Lui has developed a lot of goodwill among fans for his professionalism.

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#13 dopeasballs
June 29 2013, 04:26PM
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Doesn't Luongo have an out in his contract in the 5th or 6th year? I remember reading something about that. The canucks too, they can just walk away in a couple of years I'm pretty sure.

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#14 NM00
June 29 2013, 04:32PM
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@dopeasballs

IIRC, after year 4 Luongo can request a trade and after year 7 Lou loses some or all of his no trade protection for a period of time.

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#15 Keenan Jr,
June 29 2013, 04:33PM
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@antro

Unfortunately, Luongo has also shown what a meltdown he is. He was not able to get the job done, time to accept it and move on, it's almost a decade, just like Kirk Fivehole Mclean wasn't good enough to get the job done! Move on, unless you want 5 more years of meltdowns against Chicago and Boston and every other team they are "supposed" to beat in the post!

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#16 Karmov
June 29 2013, 04:41PM
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@antro

Goodwill can't overlook Luo's lengendary performance in Boston and the 7th game home...not to mention his performances against Chicago and the Kings and the Sharks. Luos' demeanor has always been a "woah is me" every time something doesn't go his way in a game, you can see it in his face. That's not a sign of a goalie that will bring a team to the next step.Luongo's not worth even half the contract he was given and Gillis knows that, Gillis will be lucky to have is job here for the next two years.

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#17 biznow
June 29 2013, 05:20PM
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Its only obvious. Trade both Schneider and Luongo, roll with 6 skaters each game, and block more shots than 50 cents face.

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#18 Toolsies
June 29 2013, 07:44PM
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Trade Schneider? Now I can see why Vancouver is always crying" we need a center!" "we need a good goalie!" Well, Canuck boneheads, you need them because you had them but you TRADED THEM AWAY. Way to go Canucks, there's nothing more funny then sports suicide.

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#19 pheenster
June 29 2013, 08:12PM
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NM00 wrote:

"Aquilini is clearly willing to buy out DiPietro's enormous contract, or the rumours that surfaced yesterday wouldn't have surfaced."

How do you figure? It could be as simple as NYI trying to find a sucker to take DiPietro and the Canucks politely declining.

It's all just guesses at this point.

There have been rumours floating around involving DiPietro for weeks. There has to be some fire to have generated that much smoke. That said, I agree that we're all just guessing.

In our last exchange on this topic a few weeks ago, I said the idea of Lou staying here, under Gillis or otherwise, was ridiculous as that ship had sailed. I may have to eat those words as the Canucks front office looks like it may commandeer that ship and bring it back to port. In my view, Canucks management and Luongo each bear some of the responsibility for this mess, so if they're forced to get back into bed together it would seem only appropriate.

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#20 NM00
June 29 2013, 08:22PM
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@pheenster

What has Lou done that is so bad? Not agreeing to go to Columbus?

I can't blame him for having a preferred destination and then softening his stance as time went on.

The worst part of all of this, in my opinion, is that they didn't trade Schneider at the 2012 deadline to improve the team in front of Luongo.

That value has simply turned into dust as the Canucks went 1-8 in the playoffs.

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#21 Risk Adverse Owners?
June 29 2013, 08:46PM
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Aquilini better go back to business school if he is (a) refusing to buy out Luongo (b) Unwilling to take $$ back in a Lu trade. This contract from the get-go was a high risk contract. As a business man embarking on a long term, big $$ deal - he did a risk analysis assessment before inking this contract. In this risk assessment, he knew this was a 12 yr endeavor. That it would run through at least 1, and potentially 2, new CBAs. He knew this 'type' of contract was controversial and frowned upon by the league and some owners at the time it was signed. He knows the turnover rates in the league. His risk analysis assessment would have concluded: High risk venture. A lot of unknowns for a long term, big $$ deal. Yet he inked the contract anyways. Now here we all are - the worst case scenario in a situation you knew was probable.

Aquilini knew this was a possibility. Yet he inked the contract anyways. Time to pay the piper Aquilini. Luongo does not want to be here, refer to he or his brothers twitter accounts if you don't believe me. You embarked on this adventure, time to pay your dues.

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#22 UkeeRob
June 29 2013, 09:38PM
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Lets just hope we are on the eve of a new era where our goalie situation is not the focal point.

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#23 NM00
June 29 2013, 09:41PM
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UkeeRob wrote:

Lets just hope we are on the eve of a new era where our goalie situation is not the focal point.

A lower mainland natural disaster?

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#24 Sarcasm Mode
June 29 2013, 11:13PM
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Bad drafting. Trading away future talent. Keeping inept veteran players. Too cheap to pay for grit. Babying under performing stars. More ice time for incompetence. Fans who keep coming back for more.

With this formula, how can the Canuck's or any sports team not win? I'm going to run my business with this model.

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