Aside from the Colorado Avalanche selecting Nathan MacKinnon with their first overall selection, the biggest news of the day came out of Vancouver. Instead of the Canucks moving Roberto Luongo, which has been the intention since the start of last season, GM Mike Gillis struck a deal to send Cory Schneider to New Jersey. The Canucks received the ninth overall pick and used it to select Bo Horvat of the OHL’s London Knights.
With the Canucks now sitting pat with Luongo as their starter and the Devils finding Martin Brodeur’s successor, two teams were taken out of any goalie drama.
So how does this affect the St. Louis Blues?
Reports by Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly suggested that the Philadelphia Flyers were inquiring about Jaroslav Halak’s availability, according to an NHL source. Halak has one year remaining on his current contract, which will pay him $4.50 million in actual salary, but carries just a $3.75 million cap-hit.
The Blues can now use the fact that Schneider is off the table for negotiations. So if the Flyers, or any team for that matter, try to pass on trade discussions, they no longer have the back-up plan of attempting to acquire Schneider from Vancouver.
The Blues could also be open to taking offers for all three goaltenders currently on the roster. Halak is likely the most expendable with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen being cheaper alternatives. Like the Blues, though, teams around the league are worried about cap space and both Elliott and Allen could draw some major interest to keep salary dollars down.
Elliott has one year left on his deal, which pays him $1.90 million and carries a $1.80 million cap-hit, while Jake Allen is currently a RFA.
Teams that missed out on Schneider may potentially be looking at the Blues’ goaltending depth. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported that there were four teams in on Schneider.
The fourth team in on Cory Schneider was Columbus. So it was NJ-Edmonton-Columbus-Calgary as Final four. Philly nibbled but not long
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2013
After the deal, the rumored asking price to the Oilers, who will play in the same division as Vancouver next season, seemed a little steeper than what New Jersey gave up. The Oilers first round pick, seventh overall, along with their second round pick and a “good young player” were believed to be what the Canucks were seeking.
With the Blues in an opposite division, the Oilers or Flames may be able to get a Blues goalie for a lower price tag.