Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/8/13
Maybe it’s time to settle this Roberto Luongo-Cory Schneider rivalry once and for all. In fact Schneider has an idea. When the two goaltenders inevitably find themselves stretching near the centre line during Tuesday night’s pre-game skate he suggested they should do more than just exchange pleasantries. “Maybe try to start a line brawl” Schneider said Monday. “Maybe we’ll fight each other disprove all the friendliness.” That truly would be the perfect ending to what has been one of the best goaltending soap operas of all time. Luongo and Schneider toe-to-toe at centre ice exchanging haymakers. Sadly it’s not going to happen. Schneider was joking Monday when he talked about duking it out with Luongo when he returns to Rogers Arena on Tuesday night with the New Jersey Devils to play the Vancouver Canucks. The fact is through all the craziness of the past couple of years Luongo and Schneider became and remain good friends. They still talk regularly. “I am obviously keeping tabs on him and seeing how he is doing” Schneider told reporters at Rexall Place where the Devils met the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. “You don’t root for many guys outside your team but he is a guy that I hope the best for just because of the kind of player and person he is. He is someone I think is easy to root for. Not on Tuesday night. But again we are still friendly and we try to support each other.” A little more than three months after the stunning draft-day deal that rocked his professional life Schneider did not seem to be in the mood to do a lot of reminiscing about his time with the Canucks or talk about his emotions in the wake of that trade. The message Schneider delivered on Monday and one he will likely repeat when he meets with reporters before Tuesday night’s game in Vancouver is that he has moved on. He was a Canuck but now he’s a New Jersey Devil and is just fine with that. In fact Schneider tried to insist he really hasn’t given much thought to his return to Vancouver when he will stare down the ice and see Luongo in front of the Canuck goal. ““I haven’t thought too much about it” he said with a straight face. “We have a big game tonight so I am not trying to put tomorrow ahead of what is happening tonight. When we get there I’ll see how I feel but right now I am not really thinking too much about it.” His new coach Peter DeBoer seemed to suggest otherwise. DeBoer said it took him no time at all to decide that Schneider would start Tuesday night against the Canucks. “When we got Cory and then I got the schedule it became a no-brainer” DeBoer said of his decision to start Schneider in Vancouver. “I think you talk to any player and they want to play against their old team. There is a comfort level there with the personnel on the other side with the arena the environment and there is obviously motivation there.” There’s no question Schneider was comfortable in Vancouver. He had worked his way up through the organization finally won the No. 1 job and signed a contract extension with the Canucks. Like nearly everyone else on the planet he was confident that it would be Luongo not him who would be dealt. “Sure I spent nine years in that organization it’s a great city with a great fan base and I learned a lot about myself as a player and person there so I am sure I will look back fondly on it as we go on here” he said. “But I am really enjoying my time in New Jersey.” Schneider found out about the trade while he was watching the draft on TV in his Boston apartment. A few moments later his phone rang and it was Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis. “It was short professional” was how Schneider described that call. “He had things to do he was busy so he wished me luck and thanked me for what I did there. I thanked him and that was it.”
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