The goalie debate continues in Vancouver
by Sam Shoai
Trade Luongo, keep Schneider. Trade Schneider, keep Luongo. Trade Luongo and Schneider. Bring back Bob Essensa.
Canucks fans and media never seem to tire of debating goaltending issues. Then again, the team has had more than its fair share of issues in recent history. There was the seemingly endless string of goalies that started before the relatively stable tenure of Dan Cloutier. There were questionable proclamations of Kevin Weekes and Martin Brochu as the franchise’s “Goaltender of the Future”. And now of course there is the Luongo v. Schneider saga.
On Tuesday, Canucks GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun he has a “potential deal in place with one team,” helping the rumours keep swirling.
The general feeling among the media is that a trade needs to happen as soon as possible. Some feel the team needs help up front to make up for the loss of forwards Kesler and Booth to injury. Others state that keeping Luongo around is a distraction that will interfere with the players’ focus and hamper the team’s success.
The second point is what I take issue with.
Both Luongo and Schneider have dealt with the situation with nothing but professionalism and class. Why then is the situation of having both goaltenders on the team a distraction?
One reason only: the media keeps asking them if it’s a distraction!
How can any of the players, and especially Schneider and Luongo, not be distracted by the situation when they’re asked about it everyday?
Yes the media is only doing its job, and yes, I am aware of the irony of commenting on a story that is overly commented on. And no, I don’t have any suggestions to solve the problem. In fact, it might not be a problem at all, as many players crave the intense scrutiny that comes with playing hockey in a Canadian city. I only want to point out the seeming lack of self-awareness amongst the Vancouver sports media when it comes to dwelling on and obsessing over certain stories.
Is the goaltending situation a distraction? Probably.
Is it a self-made distraction by the media? I think so.
Do I still miss Bob Essensa? Hell yes.
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