Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Schneider has new NHL contract

Goalie signs one-way deal with Canucks

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CORY Schneider has a new contract, a two-year, one-way deal worth US$900,000 per season.

What does it mean in a world where Vancouver Canucks starter Roberto Luongo is about to start in on his 12-year, $64-million extension?

It means Cory Schneider has a new contract.

"I think it's a very real possibility I could (get traded)," Schneider said from his Boston-area home on Wednesday. "If I happen to get into next year and play well, maybe something at deadline happens where the team can get better by moving me and I'm sure they would with Louie (Luongo) just starting his 12-year extension."

A trade or an offer sheet for a restricted free agent (which he would have been July 1) seemed most likely for the AHL goalie of the year in 2008-09 and the Moose MVP in 2009-10.

"We didn't think (the offer sheet) was very likely with the goalie market today," Schneider said. "There will be lots of guys on the market, tandems splitting up and a good free-agent class as well.

"Talking with my agent, we just figured a team wouldn't spend enough money that Vancouver wouldn't match.

"And also, it was a sign of good faith by Vancouver not to hold out on this and play that waiting game. They gave me a fair offer."

Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman, the team's contract specialist, told the Free Press Wednesday that Schneider wasn't signed now so he'd be a bargaining chip at the upcoming NHL draft.

"We didn't sign Cory to trade him but that said, every player has a price," Gilman said. "There's a possibility that somebody makes an offer we couldn't refuse, but we went into this with thinking Cory will play for the Vancouver Canucks next year."

Schneider said he was encouraged that after his Moose playoffs were over and he was summoned to Vancouver as third-goalie insurance, there was plenty of chatter that he would be the Canucks' backup next season.

"I had heard rumblings like that, from (VP and assistant GM) Lorne Henning and (Moose) coach (Scott) Arniel, so I knew it was a possibility," Schneider said. "So having this contract, and a one-way to boot, shows they have some faith in me to come in and be the backup, that they do believe in me.

"This is a good offer and both sides are happy."

Schneider said he'll be perfectly happy to start a full-time NHL career in Vancouver.

"In the short term, to step into a city like that with unbelievable fans and a great hockey presence and with Roberto there to watch and work with, for somebody breaking in, you couldn't ask for much more," he said.

"Without a doubt this is a show of faith in Cory," said Gilman.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 3, 2010 C1

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