The teacher, Roberto Luongo, has been outshined by the student, Cory Schneider.
NHL trade rumors are swirling because of just that—the Vancouver Canucks don’t need the 33-year-old Luongo anymore because they found a younger goaltender who boasts the potential to be the next big thing in the net.
Schneider didn’t just outshine Luongo in 2012—he nearly outshined everyone. The 26-year-old recorded the second-highest save percentage in the NHL and the third-lowest goals against average.
According to The London Free Press, the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in taking Luongo off of the Canucks' hands. Vancouver shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger because with Schneider, it’s set in the net. The report read:
According to TVA Sports hockey analyst Enrico Ciccone, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke contacted his Vancouver Canucks counterpart, Mike Gillis, about the 33-year-old goaltender last weekend.
This is not the first time Luongo has been linked to trade talks with Toronto. In April, the Leafs were among a group of teams that showed interest in the veteran netminder.
Last season, Vancouver finished with the best record in the league. In the playoffs, though, the Canucks’ momentum dissipated. They were eliminated in five shocking games against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings.
Vancouver obviously has the talent to win a world title after such a consistent display of dominance over the course of the 2011-2012 campaign. It’s so close that sacrificing its backup goalie to strengthen another part of their rotation is a no-brain decision. It’s too close not to make a bold move.
Sure, Luongo is still a respectable goalie and would provide the Canucks with incredible depth at the position. But a net only holds one goaltender. While Luongo possesses value as a backup, Vancouver would get the most out of him as a trade piece.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.