It was only a matter of time.
Cory Schneider wanted to remain in Vancouver and the Canucks wanted Schneider to remain their goaltender.
The two sides came to an agreement in principle on a new contract earlier this week and on Friday the two sides made if official with Schneider re-signing with the Canucks.
The dollars made sense and the term was right, but Schneider said it's all about winning. He feels the chance for personal and team growth and success is greater in Vancouver than anywhere else and he never intended on taking his talents elsewhere.
“They present a great opportunity to win and that was more of a factor than anything,” said the 26-year-old, during a conference call held Friday morning. “I’ve really gotten to know my teammates and the staff and the city and I really enjoy it.”
Schneider has been a fan favourite in Vancouver since the moment he first set foot on the ice as a member of the Canucks in 2008-09. The Boston native, Vancouver's 26th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, made 28-saves in a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames in his NHL debut on November 29, 2008, and that turned quite a few heads.
In Schneider’s first full season with the Canucks in 2010-11 it became clear he was much more than a backup netminder as he compiled a record of 16-4-2 and finished the year sharing the William M. Jennings Trophy with Roberto Luongo for fewest goals against in the NHL.
Last season Schneider was again sensational, especially in the post-season where he led all goalies with the lowest goals against average (1.31) and highest save percentage (.960).
Schneider has made the most of every one of his 68 NHL starts, so much so that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said Friday afternoon there was no way he would let Schneider slip away.
“I don’t think you can let any great young player go, it doesn’t matter what their position is or who they are, if they are really good players, unless there’s some sort of crazy situation, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep them,” said Gillis.
Despite all the rumours and speculation of Schneider trades, especially close to this past NHL Trade Deadline, Gillis confirmed he never came close to dealing the netminder. He even made a point of saying he didn’t even consider any of the offers because they simply weren’t good enough.
The Canucks clearly think highly of Schneider, and rightfully so.
Schneider, in tern, was quick to share his admiration for Luongo, whose future with the Canucks remains up in the air.
“He’s been the best goalie in team history and holds a lot of the records and he’s almost become iconic to the city,” said Schneider of Luongo. “To have played with him and be his teammate, it’s been a tremendous honour and I really owe a lot to him in terms of how I’ve developed and the player I’ve become.”
Ignoring rumours and sticking with what we know, Gillis said there has been interest from other NHL clubs about Luongo, but that there is nothing new to report.
As of right now, Schneider and Luongo are Canucks teammates battling for the starting job come September.
Schneider isn’t feeling any pressure in his pursuit of his first starting gig in Vancouver.
“Every chance I got to play in the past, I handled it as a No. 1, I never felt like I wasn’t a No. 1,” he explained. “Every game in the NHL is pressure, just being in the NHL is pressure, I don’t think the contract or the dollars or your roll on the team adds more pressure, just to play in that league there’s pressure to perform, pressure to not let your teammates down and it’s something that I’ve learned to deal with and have used as a motivational tool.”