Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider may opt for Switzerland adventure
American netminder has Swiss citizenship due to family ties
Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider is surrounded by mics and cameras following an informal practice at UBC's Thunderbird Arena in September. 'Thursday is the day they're going to cancel the Winter Classic?' said Schneider. '(The owners) have been giving us deadlines and ultimatums throughout this whole process. If they're serious about saving the Winter Classic, maybe they should open up talks and start negotiating. I mean, this is entirely in their control.'
Photograph by: Kim Stallknecht, PNG
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canucks netminder Cory Schneider is thinking about cashing in his Swiss chip as the NHL lockout enters its seventh week with no end in sight.
Although American born and raised, Schneider also has Swiss citizenship due to family ancestry on his father's side. This would make him eligible to play in the Swiss League as a non-import. To that end, he's exploring the option.
“It's nothing serious at this point,” he said Monday when queried about going overseas. “There are still a couple of hoops to jump through before that's a possibility but when you see the month of November cancelled, that's 30-plus days from now. If we take the deadline seriously that there will be nothing until Dec. 1 — and you have to — I think it would only make sense to try and get in some game action.”
Schneider figures he won't be picky either. He'll take whatever he can get.
“I don't think beggars can be choosers,” said the 26-year-old redhead from Marblehead, Mass. “There are not a lot of spots over there and I'd be fortunate to even get an offer. So I'm not looking at it as the most opportune situation for me. I'm just looking at a place where I might be able to play some games.
“My father has Swiss citizenship and we actually did the paperwork a long time ago to get it for my brother and myself,” Schneider added. “That's a nice thing to have so maybe it makes more sense for me to go there than anywhere else if I can do it.”
What Schneider would prefer, above all else, is a return to the bargaining table. The league maintains it will only listen to “tweaks” to the offer it made Oct. 16. On Friday, commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled games through the end of November. The Winter Classic, a huge moneymaker for the league, is on the chopping block this week.
“Is that what they said?” responded Schneider, a member of the players negotiating committee. “Thursday is the day they're going to cancel the Winter Classic? They've been giving us deadlines and ultimatums throughout this whole process. If they're serious about saving the Winter Classic, maybe they should open up talks and start negotiating. I mean, this is entirely in their control.
“I feel as though we're willing to talk about anything and everything and they're willing to talk about one thing and one thing only. They seem to think we're not speaking the same language. They keep using that phrase but I just think both sides need to get back to the table with no pre-conditions.”
Schneider isn't certain the league's decision to cancel games until December is an absolute.
“If we struck a deal tomorrow, would we not be playing in November?” he wondered. “I'm pretty sure we could play some games in November. We want to play in November. We don't want to wait until December. We want to start talking again.”
Meanwhile, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said he and brother Daniel are still holding firm in their decision to remain in Vancouver even though the November schedule has seemingly been wiped out. The twins have a standing invitation to join their hometown team of Modo, which is run by ex-Canuck mate Markus Naslund.
“No, no, we're not going to phone Markus,” Henrik said. “If something is going to happen here in the next week, or two weeks, they are going to want to get in as many games as possible. I don't think they are going to wait until December to play. If it comes to a point where they might be talking about cancelling the whole season, then we'll make a new decision.”
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