Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/22/13

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks plays during the preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on September 17, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
At least get in the same book Cory Schneider failed to deliver the opening night performance general manager Mike Gillis was hoping for as he attempts to deal away the Vancouver Canucks more expensive goaltender. Roberto Luongo may have been expected to be start Sunday’s second of back-to-back weekend contests, but the context of his early return to the net on Saturday couldn’t have been worse. Schneider froze in his first act as the Vancouver’s goaltender of the future, making the transition to the Ginger Jesus era that much more concerning for Canucks fans as they accept the fate of number one. “Good luck kid, you’re going to need it.” Within the insignificant sample size of Vancouver’s first two games both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo have been regrettably poor in goal. The false start in the Canucks’ crease along with Alain Vigneault’s refusal to name a starter in advance of Wednesday’s divisional clash with the Flames has created the illusion that Vancouver’s two goaltenders are equals in the eyes of the team, yet like Harrison Mooney in yoga pants, this is simply wrong. Roberto Luongo’s spot on the trading block is as comfortable as Cory Schneider’s grip on the goaltending throne in Vancouver, and according to GM MG the call could come at any time to deal the veteran goaltender. In a lengthy interview with Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun Gillis ambiguously admitted a potential deal was in place but required further action in order to be finalized: “We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have – and it’s not who anybody thinks it is – and so we have to wait,” said Gillis. The key to managing a supposed goaltending controversy is to align the long-term intentions of management with the short-term decisions made by the coaching staff. In the early days of Cory Schneider’s time as Vancouver’s starting goaltender it must become perfectly clear that the team’s confidence firmly resides with the goaltender more likely to see Grouse Mountain thaw this spring. While Cory Schneider’s shaky start to the season could have been easily brushed aside by a vote of confidence from his head coach over the weekend, instead fans and media have been left to speculate over what we should already know: Luongo’s career in Vancouver is coming to a close, Schneider should be a guarantee to start against the Flames, and the sky will seem like it’s falling if the Canucks lose back-to-back games against divisional rivals. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
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