When the Vancouver Canucks made the decision to lock up future Canadian gold medalist Roberto Luongo in the 2009 off season to a 12 year, 64 million dollar contract, it became clear that then top goaltending prospect Cory Schneider was valuable trade bait.
Fast forward a season and a half later and Cory Schneider is still with the Canucks and is still trade bait. With that being said the stand out from Boston College is no longer just a top goaltending prospect. He's a top National Hockey League goaltender looking for a crease to call his own.
Going into the 2010-2011 season the Vancouver Canucks where taking a whole new approach to the way they would handle the goaltending situation with Luongo and Schneider. It was simple, have Roberto play close to 60 games for more rest and a possible deep playoff run.
This number is far from relevant too the games played by Luongo in years passed. Putting pressure on the twenty-four year old Schneider who was set out to play twenty plus games through out the year.
From the looks of it Schneider has put the pressure aside and has had a marvelous season no body ever could have for forshadowed.
The former 2008-2009 AHL Goaltender of the year has been nothing less then stellar. In twenty-one games played he is a remarkable 14-3-2 and has a .927 save percentage putting him amongst the top of NHL goaltenders. Cory Schneider has been put in many situations to back up his stats.
Most recently came back a week ago in California. Schneider managed to pick up his first career shut out against a desperate Ducks team who are fighting to make the playoffs. But Schneider saved his best for a mid week date with the streaking San Jose Sharks.
Schneider managed to accomplish a rare feat for most NHL goalies. Allow four goals against and be the number one star for your team. The San Jose Sharks were hosting Vancouver and were more ready then ever to take on the leagues best team and they showed it.
The Sharks managed to out shoot the Canucks forty-two to eight-teen in the last two periods including nine shots in O.T to the Canucks Zero. Schneider managed to pull through once again in the shootout giving Vancouver the win in the leagues best game of the year.
It was also Schneider's best game of his career and possibly was the statement game he needed to proclaim him self as a number one NHL goaltender.
Its clear to say that position won't be held in Vancouver . A possible trade in the off-season could be on the horizon and with a young star goaltender hitting his prime set out to make a measly nine hundred thousand dollars in the 2011-2012 campaign. His value could possibly never be higher.
Many teams around the league are looking for number one goaltender and what better choice could there be then Cory. The question is, what is Schneider's true value?
The question could be answered in many ways.
Managers may argue that he hasn't played enough games to really prove him self and that may simply mean he maybe only worth a first round pick. In years past a first rounder would make a manager think, but with this year's entry draft being so weak past the top ten, for Canuck GM Mike Gillis that most likely wont be the transition he would likely make.
As for the analyst and fans Cory Schneider's value is through the roof and Vancouver should only make a move if the price is right. An immediate impact player and a prospect could make Mike Gillis at the brink of pulling a potential blockbuster. Throw in a first round pick and you may have your self a sure deal. This type of deal was seen in last years off season when playoff standout Halak was dealt to the Blues in exchange for Lars Eller and Ian Shultz.
There has been no clear winner for the trade as all players involved haven't made the impact they originally hoped for.
When the off season comes around in the National Hockey League this June the spotlight may come upon Vancouver and Cory Schneider. It could come as fast as the NHL entry draft held in Minnesota.
For now we can only speculate what will happen with the future number one goaltender as he continues to play and back up for the Canucks and Roberto Luongo. What we know for certain is that this has been and will continue to be Luongo's team.
Although Number 35's outstanding play this season will leave an impact for the years to come, the future of this organization will not include Cory Schneider.