This morning on Toucher and Rich, Boston’s leading morning drive-time sports talk radio program, Cory Schneider appeared as a guest and had a wide-ranging conversation with the Boston duo. He addressed his status this summer, his relationship with Luongo, the Canucks perceived arrogance and what it’s like to get booed in Boston.
His answers were typically sharp, and frankly, Toucher and Rich are pretty funny guys too, taking jabs at Schneider for having a publicist and describing the Marblehead native as "the only likable Canuck" (hence the title of this post) before adding that, "well, I’m sure there are fourth line guys that are alright." You can listen to the full interview here on CBS Boston.
Click past the jump for more.
I transcribed a few parts of the interview that I found particularly interesting, and Cory Schneider gave several answers that are worth highlighting here. One of the first questions Schneider faced was about Tim Thomas’s status, and he expertly parried it. He then answered a question about whether or not the Canucks "peaked emotionally" in the January game against the Bruins in Boston in the affirmative:
"We didn’t have another game that brought us to that level, and I think we were a little flat emotionally heading into the playoffs."
I still think the injury to Sami Salo was a major factor in the team’s struggles, but you can always trust a guy like Cory Schneider to toe the party line (he did so several times in the interview).
He was also asked about Mark Recchi’s comments regarding Vancouver’s arrogance, and the team’s negative perception in the media. His answer to the negative perception question led to this sarcastic and genuinely funny exchange between the co-hosts and Vancouver’s presumed starter:
"We have a lot of guys who play the game hard and play the game the right way and who you don’t hear a whole lot about. So I think there’s two or three guys maybe that most of the guys in the league don’t necessarily like, and that’s fine, because they’re on your side and you like to have them on your side"
"yeah they’re not lovable like Marchand"
"yeah they’re not lovable like all the Bruins guys are."
Meanwhile his rejoinder to the "arrogance" charge was really good, probably the best I’ve heard from any Canucks player:
"I don’t think you make it to the Stanley Cup Final if you don’t have a little bit of arrogance and swagger, if you don’t believe in yourself you’re not going to get there."
Pitch perfect, right?
The question then veered into the dynamics of Schneider and Luongo’s relationship, and futures. On Schneider’s future with the team and what was being communicated to him about his status this summer, Schneider said he hadn’t, "heard a lot to be honest, we as players sometimes are the last to find out anything." Kind of concerning that the communication between the team and their star netminder has lagged only a month before he’ll be exposed to predatory offer sheets for five days in July…
Schneider then added, "I’m still restricted so I have another year where I kind of can’t really explore my options, so I’m sort of bound to the team." Nothing explosive there, Schneider is a smart player who is acutely aware of his rights and his contract status, but it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Canucks and Vancouver. At least he threw Mike Gillis a bone:
"So if it’s in their best interest to bring me back and bring Roberto back, we’ll have to find a way to make it work. We’ve done it for two years now, and it’s worked out pretty well, so we’ll find a way to make it work."
In one of the lighter moments of the interview, Schneider was asked about Vancouver being a "crazy ass town" when it comes to hockey. He then committed a minor act of blasphemy by comparing Canucks fans to Red Sox fans:
"Yeah it is, it’s a Red Sox-esque Fever Pitch of a few years ago, and it’s like that all the time, Canadians love their hockey that’s for sure"
Finally talk turned to the lockout, and Schneider demonstrated why we’ve long been enamored with his politician quality eloquence:
"It’s going to be interesting I can’t put a number or a guess on it, but to the player it seems funny that Bettman came out and said the league just set a new record for revenue (with 3.3 billion dollars in revenue). So they keep making money, but somehow they’re losing money. It’s something we’re going to talk about but the players need something that’s going to be fair for us, because in 2004 we sort of gave up a whole lot, they kind of claimed "we’ll cut player costs and everything will be great" and here we are 7 years later and they’re looking to cut player costs again. So somethings going to have to give on one side or the other."
It’s an entertaining interview, and classic Cory Schneider. He’s funny, he’s composed, he toes the party line on Luongo’s status (better than even his head coach managed to), strongly defends his teammates, and makes a compelling argument in the NHLPA’s favour regarding upcoming CBA negotiations. So Gillis, can we keep him?