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NHL Trade Rumors: Vancouver Canucks Smart to Be Patient with Goalie Situation

VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 1:  Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period in NHL action on February 1, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2016

Coming into the year, it was almost a certainty that Robert Luongo would be traded to make way for Cory Schneider. It now seems like he will be with the Vancouver Canucks all year.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the team will keep both goaltenders throughout the season:

Many believe Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis won't move either Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo this season. Both are playing well and may be needed during this run to the playoffs.

He is correct that both are playing well, but Luongo has been better.

So far this season they each have four wins, but the veteran has a league-leading 1.45 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. Schneider has a solid-but-not-great 2.62 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

A year ago around this time, this would not be surprising. Luongo was the starting goaltender on the team that finished with the best record in the NHL.

However, things went sour in the postseason. The 33-year-old goalie allowed seven goals in the first two games and lost his job in the net to the younger teammate. 

After Schneider's 1.96 GAA last season, it would not have been surprising for the Canucks to allow him to remain the No. 1 goalie and trade Luongo for a lot of value. That is at least until Luongo started playing like one of the best goalies in the league again.

It does not make sense to trade Schneider because the former first-round pick has the potential to stay in this spot for a long time. That means that the best move is to keep both players on the team. 

Vancouver has never won a Stanley Cup title in its history. It has been to the finals three times and won the Presidents' Trophy in each of the last two years, but it is time that the front office did everything in its power to win this year.

In reality, the best way to win is to keep both goalies on the roster. The two players have been performing well in split games, keeping both of them fresh for the playoffs. When the postseason comes, whichever is playing better will get the nod.

Recent history has shown what can happen in the postseason with one great goaltender. This squad will have two options for greatness this year.

If Vancouver is given an incredible offer that would jumpstart the offense immediately, it should be considered. Unfortunately, it does not seem like anything of this nature is on the table. It certainly would not make any sense to sell low with such a good player. 

The record might not show it yet, but the Canucks are one of the best teams in the NHL. With two elite goalies, they should be able to bring home a Stanley Cup.

 

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