Luongo willing to waive

The Vancouver Canucks headed into an off-season that could see significant change Tuesday with goaltending and coaching among the most pressing decisions facing Mike Gillis.

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks headed into an off-season that could see significant change Tuesday with goaltending and coaching among the most pressing decisions facing Mike Gillis.

The Canucks general manager says he’s unsure about what he’s going to do with his goalies, but both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider are clearly capable starters.

The difference is Luongo has 10 years left on his contract, while Schneider can become a restricted free agent on July 1st. Schneider also replaced Luongo as the team’s No. 1 netminder two games into the Canucks’ stunning five-game first round exit to the Los Angeles Kings.

Luongo says he won’t stand in the way if the Canucks want to move him.

“I don’t want to be one of those guys that is going to stand in the way of anything,” he said as players cleaned out their lockers. “I always want to put the team ahead of me first, and I don’t want to be one of those selfish guys.”

Luongo added he will do what’s best for the team.

“Even though I have a no-trade (clause), it is not my decision,” said Luongo. “Obviously, we’ve got a guy here that’s going to be a superstar in this league for the next 10, 12, 15 years.

“So I’m okay with that as well.”

Luongo posted a 31-14-8 record during the regular season with five shutouts for the Presidents Trophy winners.

He recorded a 2.41 goals-against average and .919 save percentage as he and Schneider (20-8-1, three shutouts) ranked four in the NHL in team goaltending.

The 33-year-old is a three-time all-star and ranks as Vancouver’s all-time winningest goaltender. He also has a Williams Jennings Trophy to his credit after he and Schneider led the league in goaltending in 2010-11.

The 26-year-old Schneider feels he has earned the right to be a starter in Vancouver or elsewhere, but disagreed he has displaced Luongo with the Canucks.

“It can’t just be me pounding my fist demanding things,” he said. “It has to be whatever they decide to do and that has to be in accordance with what I feel is good for me as well. At this point, I don’t know what’s best for me.”

Meanwhile, Gillis expressed confidence in Alain Vigneault. Vancouver’s all-time winningest coach is entering the final year of his contract, but the GM said he would not discuss Vigneault’s future until he sits down with the team’s ownership group.

“Alain’s record speaks for itself,” said Gillis. “He’s a professional coach, he’s extremely hard-working, he’s a bright guy. We’ve gone through an awful lot in the last four years that have been really difficult things for all of us, and we’ve done it together.”

Vigneault did not attend a season-ending news conference with Gillis, but Gillis indicated the coach’s absence had nothing to do with their relationship.

Gillis also must make decisions on winger Mason Raymond, a pending restricted free agent, and defenceman Sami Salo, who is due to become unrestricted. The GM said Raymond will have to get back to being the player he was before he suffered a career-threatening back injury in the sixth game of the Stanley Cup finals last spring, which sidelined him until December.

“I believe I can still be that player,” said Raymond. “I know I can still be that player.”

Raymond chalked up his difficulties to his late start to the season, shuffling between all four lines and out of the lineup sometimes.

Salo, the team’s oldest player at 37, said he will take time to decide whether he wants to keep playing in the NHL or return to Europe.

Gillis attributed his team’s premature demise to a league-wide shift to more defensive style and the Canucks’ inability to recover from an emotional mid-season victory over the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

He also defended his heavily-criticized decision to trade centre Cody Hodgson to Buffalo at the trade deadline. Vancouver’s power play struggled down the stretch and in the playoffs without Hodgson on its second unit.

Zack Kassian, 21, a prototypical power forward who was the principal acquisition in the four-player deal, could not match the shifty Hodgson’s offensive output and was scratched for Sunday’s pivotal Game 5.

Gillis all but confirmed that Hodgson, a 2008 first-round draft choice (10th overall) who suffered a back injury in off-season weight-training supervised by the Canucks in 2009 and missed most of his final junior season in 2009-10, requested a trade out of Vancouver.

“I spent more time on Cody’s issues than every other player combined on our team in the last three years,” Gillis said. “We made a determination that he didn’t want to be here (and) built him into something that we could move.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

Pothole repair and road resurfacing are among the projects the City of Red Deer could spend a $6 million federal grant for capital projects. (Advocate file photo)
City of Red Deer will get more money for road repairs in 2021 federal budget

More details are needed about grants for affordable housing and transit, says CFO

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Government of Canada public pensions web page is shown on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. A national group representing about 300,000 pensioners says the new federal budget fails to mention reforms that are necessary to protect people with defined benefit retirement plans sponsored by employers. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Retiree group says Liberal budget fails to support pension reform

Retiree group says Liberal budget fails to support pension reform

FILE - This Aug. 13, 2020 photo shows a logo for Netflix on a remote control in Portland, Ore. Netflix’s rapid subscriber growth is slowing far faster than anticipated, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, as people who have been cooped at home during the pandemic are able to get out and do other things again. The video streaming service added 4 million more worldwide subscribers from January through March, its smallest gain during that three-month period in four years. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Netflix’s subscriber growth, stock zapped as pandemic eases

Netflix’s subscriber growth, stock zapped as pandemic eases

A CN rail worker stands on an idle locomotive as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
CN makes rival bid to CP Rail’s offer to buy U.S. railway Kansas City Southern

CN makes rival bid to CP Rail’s offer to buy U.S. railway Kansas City Southern

The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Rogers offers customers credit after massive outage but questions remain on Shaw deal

Rogers offers customers credit after massive outage but questions remain on Shaw deal

The Toronto Stock Exchange Broadcast Centre is shown in Toronto on Friday June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
S&P/TSX composite has worst day in seven weeks on COVID infection concerns

S&P/TSX composite has worst day in seven weeks on COVID infection concerns

In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listen to Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read instructions to the jury before closing arguments, Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Ex-cop guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd case

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder… Continue reading

A Quebec Superior Court justice is set to issue a ruling Tuesday on the constitutionality of the province’s secularism law, known as Bill 21. People hold up signs during a demonstration against Bill 21 in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec court upholds most of province’s secularism law, exempts English school boards

MONTREAL — Quebec’s secularism law is largely legal, a Superior Court judge… Continue reading

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks during a press conference at the legislature in Victoria, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The British Columbia government is providing a few more details about travel restrictions aimed at limiting movement around the province to slow the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Periodic roadblocks but no individual stops planned for B.C.’s COVID-19 travel rules

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is looking at using periodic roadblocks… Continue reading

Most Read