Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/20/14
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The road to Sochi…

With those silly World Championships going on over in Helsinki and Stockholm, we here at NWSB thought there may never be a better time than now to discuss the future of Cory Schneider with the US National Team.

Why isn’t he there now? Will he represent in Sochi in 2014? Would he start if he did go? All these questions are seconds from being answered right before your very eyes. Maintain your composure and read onwards and downwards.

Why isn’t Cory Schneider at the World Hockey Championships?

One would think he had every opportunity to do so just like Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen did for their respective countries but Schneids decided to pass. There is the automatic reasoning one may jump to that has something to do with family and whatever but all in all, it doesn’t make much sense why Schneider would say no.

Stay with me here.

The tournament will be over before the Stanley Cup playoffs are so he would have already been occupied anyways if the Canucks were never eliminated. I can pretty much guarantee he would have seen ice time over Jimmy Howard and Richard Bachman. On top of that, it would have garnered him some favour with USA Hockey.

Schneider in action with Team USA at the 2005 World Juniors in North Dakota. (Photo - McGuireHockey.Com)

Maybe there is an injury he’s dealing with we don’t know about but if there is one reason that makes any sense at all, it’s the situation turned debacle involving him, Canucks management and Roberto Luongo.Schneider needs a new contract still regardless of where he ends up for the start of next season so why risk an injury?

Will he represent the USA at the Sochi Olympics in 2014?

Everything that follows is assuming NHL players do go to said Olympics and of course that depends on the delusional mind of Gary Bettman.

Still, I’m hopeful.

The short and simple answer is yes, Cory Schneider will don the stars and stripes in the motherland. Of all the American net-minders that played more than one game in this past NHL season, Cory Schneider had the best SV% and second best GAA to Jonathan Quick by 1/100th of a point.

Now current stats are all fine and dandy but as we’ve seen with Canadian Olympic squads, a lot depends on how these guys are playing in the months leading up to the actual tournament.  That being said, Schneider looks to definitely be one of the top three to be chosen.

Jonathan Quick will be there and the third spot is open for debate.

Tim Thomas will be too old, if not retired. Ryan Miller will only be 33 but really hasn’t had a stellar season in most recent memory. He’ll need to find his game if he has any desire to compete. Then we have Jimmy Howard who’s leading the American charge overseas right now.

He didn’t have quite the end to the past NHL season he would have wanted but has shown great potential as a young goalie.

Is he better than Ben Bishop, Scott Clemmensen, Richard Bachman (current WHC backup), Craig Anderson and Brent Johnson? Yes!

Will Cory Schneider start?

Let’s re-hash; a lot will depend on how well each back-stopper is stopping his back come the months leading up to the Sochi Olympics.

Cory will have to be better than Jon Quick in the months leading up to February 2014.

There are other things though.

Does Jonathan Quick winning the 2012 Stanley Cup work in his favour? Yes.

Cory Schneider could very well win a Cup in 2013 so let’s not count all Quick’s chickens before they’re hatched.

Does Jimmy Howard going to the 2012 WHC and Schneider not, favour Howard? Yes.

However, I’m sure USA Hockey understands the contract situation back in Vancouver.

Will Cory Schneider still be playing lights out as a starter in the latter half of 2013? Yes.

There’s no reason to believe he won’t be even if Luongod forbid he’s in a Luongo-esque position in a Floridian market with no offensive support. Don’t worry all you Schneider-riders, he’ll be here in Van and owning it.

But despite how well I or anyone might think Cory Schneider may be playing at the time, there remains the ‘Quick Conundrum.’ The Quick Conundrum is where Cory is to be usurped by the same man who out-tended him in the 2012 NHL playoffs.

It’s all hard to say, but I’m leaning towards the, “They’ll be playing equally as well as the other so let’s give the start to Quick because he’s had Schneider’s number,” decision.

Perhaps it will be a Cujo/Brodeur or Brodeur/Luongo type scenario. The first guy falters and #2 takes the reins.  It’s pretty clear by the reaction Alex Burrows has received from Canucks fans after heading over to Finland that Canucks fans WANT to see our own represent internationally, regardless of country.

One other thing; Cory Schneider has Ryan Kesler’s 2010 Silver Medal to look to as inspiration to not only match, but better.

Kes is a whole other story but why not use that as motivation for maybe a future contract with the Canucks after the one he’s inevitably about to sign is completed?

The next couple years will be eventful for Cory Schneider, maybe more eventful than the twilight’s last gleaming.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN THE CLUBHOUSE TODAY!

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Post tags: 2014 olympics, Alex Burrows, Ben Bishop, brent johnson, Canucks, Cory Schneider, Craig Anderson, Gary Bettman, IIHF, Jannik Hansen, Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Quick, Richard Bachman, Rick DiPietro, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Miller, Scott Clemmensen, sochi olympics, USA, USA Hockey, Vancouver Canucks, World Championships

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