Vancouver Canucks: Mike Gillis Corners Luongo with Schneider Deal

Riley KuftaContributor IIIJune 29, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 07:  Roberto Luongo #1 congratulates Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks after the win over the Boston Bruins on January 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

For those who don't know, there has been a recent twist in the Canucks goaltending situation. 

Soon after the end of the Canucks playoff run, Luongo commented that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if asked.  

There were then reports that Luongo had actually asked to be traded, although it was never confirmed by Luongo or the NHL

At the end of May, a Canucks insider claimed that a deal involving Luongo going to Toronto was a done deal for the draft or slightly later. This rumor continued to escalate, leading most to believe that Luongo would be the Leafs starting goalie next season...or so we thought. 

Just a few days ago, those assumptions took a hit when it was reported that Luongo had declined waiving his no-trade clause to send him to Chicago or Toronto. Apparently, he planned on holding out for a deal that would send him to Florida or Tampa Bay; two teams that have shown minimal interest at best. 

So, with an unsigned Cory Schneider and an unmovable Roberto Luongo, what options did Mike Gillis have? Well, it turns out he did have options. 

Late on Thursday evening, the Canucks reached an agreement with Schneider that would pay him $12 million over the next three years. 

Now Luongo is truly cornered. 

He now has two options; he can hold out for Florida, or he can waive his no-trade clause and go to Toronto or Chicago. 

If he holds out for Florida, he could get lucky and get his wish, but it's unlikely. Or he could end up stuck with the Canucks while Toronto and Chicago go their own ways, leaving him the highest paid backup goalie in the league, playing for a fanbase that resents him. 

If he agrees to waive his no-trade clause, he will find himself in a new city, with a new fanbase and a new beginning. He would be the undisputed No. 1 and have the opportunity to lead his new team to the playoffs. It also won't hurt that both Toronto and Chicago are closer to his family in Florida than Vancouver. 

This strategic move by Gillis was a great response to Roberto's curveball, showing that he not only wants Schneider as the No. 1, but taking the power away from Luongo in the process. 

How it plays out from here on out is anyone's guess. Will Luongo play 35 games in a Canucks jersey with a 6.5 hour flight to his family in Florida, or will he play 70 games in Toronto with 3.5 hours to Florida? The logical decision is simple.