On a day where people are skeptical of everything they observe, the unthinkable has happened.
It was about this time last year where Cory Schneider took over Roberto Luongo's position as the starting goaltender, while the Canucks dropped in 5 playoff games to the LA Kings. Ever since then, the media heads have constantly been talking about the imminent Luongo trade. Many suitors have been suggested, including the Panthers, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.
Today, Mike Gillis finally pulled the trigger on a trade, and Luongo is heading to Pittsburgh. In exchange, the Canucks are acquiring goaltender Tomas Vokoun and forward Tyler Kennedy.
|2012 - Tyler Kennedy||35||5||4||9||-1||15||1||0||1||78|
Although the SBNation widget lists Tyler as a LW, the Penguins official website has him listed as a C. Whatever the case, Kennedy is a very versatile player. On a team with players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, it can easily be seen how Tyler Kennedy fits in as more of a depth forward. On the Canucks, we will probably see him on the 2nd or 3rd line in multiple roles. He only has a $2M cap hit right now, but becomes RFA this summer. If he fits in well, expect GMMG to try keeping him here.
|2012 - Tomas Vokoun||16||825||10||3||32||2.33||412||380||.922||3|
Now, this move looks more like a surprise, but it actually fairly clever on GMMG's part. With Luongo gone, Cory Schneider is set to take the realm. However, below Cory on the goaltender chain is Eddie Lack, who's been out of the Wolves lineup with injuries since November. If something happens to Cory, what the hell do we do? In comes Tomas Vokoun. He is an older goalie with a bucketload of experience attempting to hold down the fort in Florida. He has mostly been Marc-Andre Fleury's backup this season, and hasn't done too badly at it. He is also at a $2M cap hit, although it has one extra year left on it. This will give time for the Lack Attack to heal from injuries and condition himself in the AHL for one more year, before making the big trip up.
Another perk about this trade is the cap relief. Luongo's contract was taking up $5.3M per year. Kennedy and Vokoun together only amount to $4M. This offers GMMG a bit of extra cap to play with, heading into Wednesday's trade deadline. This trade is also beneficial for Pittsburgh: with MAF becoming worse and worse over the last couple years, having Luie there would help them push towards a long post-season.
Obviously, with the trade having just happened, the Canucks will not be seeing either Kennedy or Vokoun against the Sharks tonight. We will have to settle for watching Nicklas Jensen in his first NHL game tonight. However, our new assets will likely be in Vancouver in plenty of time for Thursday's game against the Oilers.
Editor's note: This post is indeed tonight's gamethread. If the format is confusing, I suggest you fools check your calendars.