FanPost

A Blasphemous Thought

All the talk of trading Bobby Lou because he's "not a big-game goalie" or something is borderline insanity.  He had a bad game; other goalies who've had bad games include Brodeur, Roy, Hasek, Sawchuk, and every other goalie, anywhere, ever.  Big Bob's one of the three best goalies in the world, and there's nothing I'd like to see more than him signing a long extension. 

That said, if a hypothetical team were to hypothetically decide to trade a hypothetical all-world goaltender, this summer would be a pretty good time to find a replacement.  Unrestricted free agents this year include:

-Nikolai Khabibulin, who by one interesting count was among the best goalies in the world this year.  He fits the profile of a veteran mentor for Schneider, as at his age he's probably better off in a 50-50 split for playing time.  He also comes with a bunch of playoff experience, for what it's worth.  He'd probably be down for a short (2-3 year) contract at a reasonable (4m?) salary (unless the Hawks beat Detroit, in which case his asking price would probably become unrealistic), which would give us flexibility if/when the predicted cap decrease happens.

-Dwayne Roloson, who's not in the same category as Khabby, but would fill the same basic role: splitting time with Schneids for a year or two.  I dunno if I could grow to like the Wild's and Oilers', you know, sloppy seconds, but I think he could get us to the playoffs. $4m over 2 years?

-Craig Anderson, who has been an absolute God in backing up Tomas Vokoun the last few years.  I'm sure he'll be looking for a starting position somewhere; maybe we can convince him that moving from Miami to Vancouver is the best career move a goalie can make.  He's my favourite option--I think we'd be pretty awesome if we gave him 55 starts and Schneider 27. He'd also drastically improve our ogling skills.  $7m over 2 years?

-A bunch of other career second options like Mikael Tellqvist, Antero Niittymaki, and Brent Johnson, who could all platoon pretty effectively with Schneider.

Another option would be cashing in both Schneider and Luongo and going after a true number one through other means.  This seems a little silly, given that we already have one of the best, and is almost NHL '09/message board-level fantasy but just for fun...

Kari Lehtonen is a Restricted free agent this summer.  He'll probably (or he ought to, at least) be looking for ~$6m/year, and maybe with the unstable ownership situation in Atlanta, Crazy Don Waddell will be under orders to avoid that kind of outlay.  Maybe we could swing a deal whereby the Thrashers ink Lehtonen to a 5-year, $30m-ish extension, and then ship him our way for Schneider+some other things. 

Lehtonen to me is the second coming of Luongo; a great, great, underappreciated goalie toiling for a mediocre-to-bad SE division team.  He's also five years younger, and wouldn't have the whole wife+east coast baggage thing. Plus, he wouldn't have half the fanbase calling for his head from the get-go.  If we could get Lehtonen, I'd feel almost okay about letting Lou go.  

Anyway, I love Bobby Lou and hope we can get him to stay long-term.  I just wanted to illustrate some interesting alternatives should the Canucks decide moving him is in their best interest.

 

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