Could the 'best backup goalie in hockey' be traded this summer?

Schneider, who turns 26 in six weeks, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. True, he might be a No. 1 masquerading as a backup. But he’ll never get paid his full value in arb because of the small sample size (65 games) of his work.

His value in a trade, on the other hand, would seem to be considerably higher, which brings us to our next intrigue.

Four years ago, then Dallas backup Mike Smith was the centrepiece of a trade with Tampa for Brad Richards. Two summers ago, Montreal dealt Jaro Halak, who was coming off a bravura playoff performance, to St. Louis for former first-rounder Lars Eller.

Schneider’s value, meanwhile, only seems to be rising with each outing. Given Luongo’s uneven history in the playoffs, it would take an oh-my-god offer to pry the Boston College product loose from the Canucks before this season’s trade deadline.

But, at some point, in the near future, the organization is going to have to make a decision on the young man from Marblehead and the aftershocks of that move will be felt for a long time, both in Vancouver and wherever Schneider lands.

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