The most shocking development from the NHL draft came when the Canucks traded Cory Schneider to the Devils, it solves the Canucks goaltending dilemma.
After over a year of Roberto Luongo and Vancouver’s eventual forced divorce because of the mistress that was Schneider, now the mistress is out of the equation and Luongo is expected to just roll over and return back to normal like nothing happened?
The Canucks and their fans would say “yes”, because he is a professional player and has a contract to do so. However, I don’t think it will just be that easy. Luongo has anticipated being either traded or bought out for the better part of a year, and now that is no longer an option. The shocking turn of events was not anticipated by either goalie and caught both by surprise.
Luongo doesn’t have much choice in the matter but to return to Vancouver and try to act like nothing happened, even after the press conferences and expectations that he would be wearing a new uniform in September. Gillis stated that he isn’t sure he will have to “mend any fences” when it comes to Luongo, but when the team, the players, the fans and the city expect one thing and it goes a complete 180, there will be some explaining to do.
Not to mention the fact that getting the 9th overall pick was decent return but didn’t by any stretch of the imagination maximize the return the Canucks could have got for Schneider. Although it would have been tough to trade him within their own division, you need to get the most you can for such an asset and there were a lot of teams stating they could offer and had offered more than the 9th pick. Most notably, the Edmonton Oilers were making a hard pitch to get the netminder.
So while Luongo is still an upper echelon goalie, he will have to get over the perceived slights and get back down to business to lead the Canucks out of the recent tumultuous times and into some even tougher times as they try to fit in under the cap, a task that will most likely require some more changes. Luongo got his wish – he has the job as the undisputed #1 goalie once again. It is what he wanted, even though it is probably the last team he expected it to be with.