Canucks' Cory Schneider's time may come … it just won't be in Van

There was a time when Cory Schneider was, oh, 21 years old, that pondering a seat on the Vancouver Canucks’ bench from which to watch Roberto Luongo play all the meaningful games in goal was probably instructive, constructive, even entertaining.

Now, he’s 25, and the clock is ticking — quickly, it must seem — in career terms; excruciatingly slowly when it comes to the distant expiration date of Luongo’s all-but-lifetime contract extension.

Though you’ll never hear a discouraging word from the mouth of the big redhead from Marblehead, Massachusetts, via Boston College, this cannot be where Schneider expected to start the 2011-12 National Hockey League season: caddying for Luongo again, destined — if the Canucks don’t get what they want for him in a trade — to spend most of another season in full pads and a baseball cap, maybe opening and closing the door to the players’ bench (some backup goalies still do that) and providing helpful tips like: “Way to go, boys!”

The Canucks’ No. 1 draft pick, seven long years ago, insists he’s not growing antsy to be someone’s starter, which is the kind of fib you have to tell when your team is entering training camp.

“I signed a two-year contract, so I’m bound to my contract, and I’m going to fulfil it, and show up and work hard, and do what I agreed to do,” he said Monday, preparing to divide goaltending duties with top farmhand Eddie Lack for Tuesday night’s home-ice, split-squad exhibition game against a similar semblance of half the Calgary Flames.

“You can’t sign a two-year deal assuming you’re going to be moved or want to get out of it in the middle of it. I was coming off my rookie deal where I had almost no game experience, so a two-year contract sounded like some good security and a good chance to establish myself in this league, so I don’t regret the decision and I’d do it again. It’s just how it’s played out.”

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