Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is a busy dude. That's probably why he hadn't used his Twitter feed since Jan. 30. But on Thursday, he tweeted again … and calmed the fears of Canucks fans over the future of goalie Cory Schneider.
"We have agreed in principle to a deal with Cory Schneider. More news in the next few days," wrote Gillis of the restricted free agent netminder, expected to inherit the starting job next season.
According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, it's a three-year deal worth $12 million for Cory Schneider — a $4 million cap hit for a player that's yet to appear in more than 33 games in a season. It puts him $100,000 annually ahead of Ondrej Pavelec, who signed his new deal with the Winnipeg Jets this week.
Schneider was days away from potentially having an offer sheet thrown his way; the Toronto Maple Leafs being one team that may have enticed him.
Schneider recently said he wasn't concerned about his next contract, via the Canadian Press:
"Either way, I'm sure I'll end up with a contract," Schneider said during the NHLPA meetings this week in Chicago. "I don't think that's an issue. I think if I was facing the possibility of not being in the league next year I'd be a little more concerned. I'm comfortable with the idea that it may not be a deal now or in the next week, but eventually I think something will happen."
That it did. Now, what about deposed starter Roberto Luongo? TSN's Darren Dreger says the Florida Panthers remain the frontrunners:
"There are ongoing negotiations between Vancouver and Florida. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is driving the bus and the bus is in low gear. Nothing has changed since the NHL Draft but there is an ongoing negotiation. The Panthers didn't like the first approach from Gillis and countered with another offer but I wouldn't say that it's close. The Toronto Maple Leafs did express interest but I'm also told the Leafs are not engaged in discussions with Vancouver at this stage."
Luongo has a no-trade clause, so he's able to determine his next destination; but it's not a no-movement clause, so Gillis still has the nuclear option AHL demotion in his back pocket should Luongo decide to Heatley this thing up.