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article imageIs Luongo trade talk about driving up the price - for Schneider?

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 27, 2012 in Sports
Vancouver - It hasn't been considered by anyone else, and if presented to Bob McKenzie or Pierre LeBrun or Doug McLean they'd call it a greater work of fiction than 'Slapshot'. Nick Kypreos might even get mad: "Are you kidding me?" he might bellow. "Not a chance!"
But here's the deal: maybe, just maybe, all the Roberto Luongo trade talk is Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis' way of getting more in return - for Cory Schneider. It's brilliant, I mean bear with me on this, I'll make it quick and it really does have merit, or at least if you consider Luongo to be an elite goalie it does.
The grooming of Cory Schneider
After all, once they got Luongo in 2006 wasn't the plan to get Schneider enough playing time he'd fetch something on the trade market? They did that and more, the 26th overall pick in the 2004 entry draft now has 68 NHL games played, 56 starts, 38 wins, a GAA of 2.24 - third in the league this season at 1.96 - to go along with a save percentage of .928 and 4 shutouts. He's also had three Stanley Cup starts, played in a final and is a co-winner of the Jennings Trophy.
So you convince the hockey world it's Schneider that's can't be touched, the goalie you wouldn't trade for a Zamboni full of young snipers (okay, a Zamboni only seats one, but you get the drift). Do that with the intention all along of, in the end, dealing him. Because when you get down to it, he's always had the cushion of knowing he wasn't the go-to guy, he was the back-up. Far less pressure, the difference between starring in a Broadway production, or having the lead in a Fringe play.
The non-trading of Roberto Luongo
It seems likely that teams talking Luongo have offered something small for him but something big for Schneider, the younger, now signed and cheaper. Gillis turns the Schneider offer down flat but somewhere in the process suddenly goes "Look, you offered Jake Gardiner and a first rounder for Schneider and let's take a look at that again. Because on second thought we're realizing how loyal we are to Bobby Lou. And his wife absolutely loves Vancouver. So throw in Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak and we'll throw in the fleet-footed Mason Raymond and Schneider's all yours."
Once it is over, Gillis thanks local media for helping them get the maximum for a goalie unproven as a number one in the NHL. That should keep the hounds at bay. As for Luongo, maybe he's been along for the ride the entire time. Or if not, just tell him the final outcome, keeping him, was never in doubt, that you were just upping the price. He'll buy that - especially if it's true.
And it could be. Couldn't it?
More about Roberto luongo, gm mike gillis, Vancouver canucks, canucks goalie trade talks, cory schneider
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