Tampa Bay’s List of Team Improvements Start With Cory Schneider in Net

By anthonyweihofen

When you have the leading scorer in the National Hockey League on your team but you don’t win enough games to make the playoffs usually that means you have a situation in net.

As great of a job as Dwayne Roloson has done in the past his career as a starting goaltender is history. The 42-year old will be a free agent coming off one of his worst career seasons but he can still be a solid back-up goaltender especially for an inexpensive price.

The Lightning’s 34-year old Mathieu Garon is another aging goalie in the Lightning organization but one difference between Garon and Roloson is Garon was never considered starting goalie worthy. In 12 seasons in the NHL he has only played 30 or more games in a season six times and doesn’t show to make Tampa a cup contender. Garon has one year left on his contract with Tampa.

Cory Schneider on the other hand has been so strong in Vancouver that starting goalie Roberto Luongo is waiving his no trade clause before he becomes a backup goalie. Luongo has a heavy contract though and may be hard to get rid of so Schneider could end up a starter somewhere else.

Schneider has been the go-to backup goalie in Vancouver for when Luongo loses his temper or just lets the scoring get out of hand the past two seasons. During this time he has played 58 games, 36 wins, three shutouts, an average .933 save percentage and a 2.09 goals against averaged.

Then in his recent playoff run taking over for Luongo he had a .960 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average. Vancouver only lost against Log Angeles because Schneider was put in too late and the Canucks couldn’t get the puck past Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

Schneider has proved he has the skills to help a team and he could be on the market if Vancouver can’t dump off Luongo somewhere. Schneider last year only made $900,000 and though he deserves more Tampa could sign him with Roloson’s $3 million contract being over.

There are other goalies in the market though in case signing Schneider isn’t an option but they are all like Garon and Roloson. They are in their mid-late 30’s and generally aren’t what they used to be. There are goalies like Martin Brodeur, Tomas Vokoun and Ty Conklin but Tampa needs to stay away from aging goaltenders and build a franchise to last.

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