When last season’s playoffs came to an end, it seemed like a certainty that Roberto Luongo had played his last game for the Vancouver Canucks=. Now, facing the prospect of a shortened season, a very limited window to get a deal done and an injury to prospect Eddie Lack, that may no longer be the case. The safe assumption at this point is that Cory Schneider will get the starter’s job. In 33 games last season, he had a 20-8-1 record with a 1.96 GAA.
Keeping Luongo gives the Canucks two solid options in net, the problem would be whether or not he could be tolerant of being number two on the depth chart. If he isn’t happy with the situation in Vancouver, there is no reason not to deal him now. If the Canucks do deal Luongo, they could try and get a backup goaltender back in the deal, which also needs to include a quality center to help fill the void left by Ryan Kesler’s injury.
As far as free agent options go, Dan Ellis is available and has had a strong season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers. Other available netminders include Cristobal Huet, Ty Conklin and Dwayne Roloson. Signing one of these veteran netminders could benefit Schneider as well, providing some nights off as well as years of experience.
Lack has missed over a month of the AHL season with a groin injury. The end of the lockout will at least allow him to meet with Vancouver medical staff so the team can decide on the best course of action.