by PuckStopsHere on 02/12/12 at 04:16 PM ET
One of the players who is rumored to be on the trade block at this year`s deadline is Cory Schneider of the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver has two strong goalies in Schneider and Roberto Luongo and both would like to be the team`s clear number one goalie. Luongo is signed until 2022 with a $5.33 million salary cap hit. That contract is prohibitive to move. Schneider is signed for $900,000 this season and he becomes a restricted free agent. His contract would be far easier for another team to fit into their salary structure.
The Vancouver Canucks are a top team who have a very good shot at the Stanley Cup. The Sedin brothers are 31 and might begin to show decline as they age. The Vancouver Canucks will have trouble keeping their core together into the future under a salary capped system. Thus this might be the season where the Canucks have the best shot at winning the Stanley Cup in the foreseeable future, so they should take their best run at it.
In the playoffs a team usually makes a run using only one of their goalies. Thus the Caucks might be better served with only one top NHL goalie and an asset in return for the other one. This assumes that there is no value in the insurance policy of a top backup goalie. Were something to happen to Luongo, Vancouver would be dead in the water without a backup goalie. With Schneider in the fold, Vancouver still has a chance a playoff run.
The problem with this theory is that Vancouver does not have salary cap space to add an asset in return for Schneider. Vancouver is the team with the least salary cap space in the league with slightly over $200,000 available to add a player at the trade deadline and much of this room only exists because of the long term injured reserve. That number assumes that Vancouver does not make other moves to reduce their payroll before the trade deadline. That is probably a good assumption because it is hard to improve your Stanley Cup chances and reduce your payroll simultaneously.
The most logical payroll reduction target is Keith Ballard. He is paid over $4 million a year to be a depth defenceman. Moving him would likely reduce Vancouver`s overall talent pool, which isn`t the right move to increase their playoff chances. It is possible that a Ballard move coupled with another move could lead to a net improvement, but that is a tough road. It is very likely that it could backfire.
Trading Cory Schneider makes no sense unless Vancouver can bring back a significant asset in return. Vancouver does not have the salary cap space to do this. Therefore the won`t be trading Cory Schneider this season.
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