After a day or two of thinking about how many steps back the Vancouver Canucks organization ultimately took this past Draft Weekend, you can’t help but think we all kinda, might be drinking our own kool aid. Talk radio and water cooler conversations were dominated by people who wanted Mike Gillis in the unemployment line for only getting the 9th overall pick for goaltender, and appointed starter, Cory Schneider.
Let me be clear, the fact it got to this? Yeah, that’s on the management and the ownership group of this team, and the reason I include ownership, is that it’s pretty obvious that the Aquilni’s are very much in the decision making process for all things Canucks related. That in and of itself, is not unusual, there are a lot of ownership groups in many different sports that get involved in big decisions. The key mistake the Canucks made was not holding their cards close to their chest during this whole debacle. Why tell every person with a microphone that you have a new number one? Why not keep the leverage you have, and quietly shop both goalies, see which gets the best return, and make the move? Some of the best GM’s in the league never let their fan bases or the media see a deal coming, until it’s made. Just ask Lou Lamoriello.
So, the debate isn’t did they make the right move in trading Schneider, because they had no choice. According to reports, there was at least one team out there that offered something for Luongo last summer, and the Canucks turned it down, thinking they could get more, yet still moved forward, very publicly with ‘Cory’s our starter’. Of course, the ‘landscape’ changes, and teams simply cannot afford the sheer contract size of Luongo’s deal, and ownership doesn’t seem to want to buy him out. So, what’s left? Of course you trade Cory Schneider, and look like absolute idiots, and look like idiots, not because Corey is infinitely better than Luongo, because he’s not – yet. You look like idiots because of how public you were in not just your support of Schneider, but how Luongo deserves the backup role. Now, the debate is that Corey Schneider should’ve yielded a whole lot more than the ninth overall pick in what’s considered a very deep draft. I’m thinking like the now infamous Dennis Green speech, Schneider was who they thought he was.
Think about it logically, there are at least three to four teams in the market, who desperately need a goalie – a great goalie, we have one in Luongo, but he’s simply too expensive. We also have one in Corey Schneider, and he’s much more affordable – so that should naturally become a bit of a bidding war should it not? And, it likely did, but the most he was worth in the market was a 9th overall pick. Anything in this world is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and this situation is no different. Once the deal was announced, no GM came storming forward saying that he wasn’t informed that Schneider was available. No one even stormed out and said that the Canucks were robbed. If anything, people were quite vocal about how much of a player the eventual ninth overall pick, Bo Horvat is. If Corey Crawford came available on the trade market tomorrow morning, would he garner just a top ten draft pick? No, he wouldn’t, and that’s not because Stan Bowman is an amazing negotiator, it’s because the league values Corey Crawford much more than Schneider. I’m not saying Cory Schneider is a dud, not by any stretch, but he’s definitely not seen as the bona-fide stud that everyone in Vancouver seems to see, his real value is probably somewhere in the middle of those two, and maybe, that’s a ninth overall draft pick.