NEWARK, N.J. — After a year of trying to trade goalie Roberto Luongo and his hefty contract so Cory Schneider could be the sole starter, the Canucks sent Schneider to the Devils on Sunday for their ninth overall draft pick.
"(The) decision was made after a thorough review of our options," GM Mike Gillis said, "and in the interest of improving this team long term through the draft and development of players."
Luongo, 34, has nine years left on a deal with an annual salary cap charge of $5.33 million. The Canucks never found a trade partner for him — their asking price also was said to be high — and didn't want to buy him out.
Schneider, 27, goes from being essentially a co-starter to the backup of and heir-apparent to Martin Brodeur, 41. "I wasn't expecting to get traded," he said, "but we always knew it was a possibility. … It's exciting to get a new opportunity."
Luongo, who had sounded ready to be traded, told Canada's TSN TV network he was shocked and had to figure out what he was going to do.
Blackhawks: Less than a week after center Dave Bolland scored the goal that won the team the Stanley Cup, he was traded to the Maple Leafs for three draft picks. Wing Michael Frolik, whose deflection led to Bolland's goal in the last 17 seconds and a 3-2 Game 6 win over the Bruins, was traded to the Jets for two draft picks. Their departures allowed Chicago to sign wing Bryan Bickell to a four-year, $16 million deal. Bickell (nine goals, 17 points in 23 playoff games) could have been an unrestricted free agent.
Blue Jackets: The team agreed to terms with Sergei Bobrovsky, winner of this year's Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie, on a two-year contract extension.
Coyotes: Goalie Mike Smith agreed to a six-year deal for almost $5.7 million per. The ex-Lightning goalie could have been an unrestricted free agent Friday.