, Salem, MA


September 7, 2010

His time has come

Schneider ready to earn full-time NHL gig with Canucks

It is 1,453 miles west from his previous location in Canada that Cory Schneider will be taking his hockey talents this upcoming season.

Not that there was anything wrong with that previous spot; Schneider spent three very productive, enjoyable years in Winnipeg playing goal for the Manitoba Moose and, aside from the region's brutally cold winters, doesn't have a bad thing to say about it.

But now the Marblehead native is ready to take the next step in his pro hockey journey — for good.

Schneider arrived in Vancouver on Friday to get ready for the start of the Canucks' training camp that begins next week. The 24-year-old is ready to stick with the National Hockey League organization that drafted him the first round (26th overall) six years ago.

"It's my fourth year (at training camp); no surprises or excuses now," said Schneider, who is expected to make Vancouver's roster and serve as the backup goaltender to all-star Roberto Luongo for the 2010-11 season.

"I know what I'm up against and what I have to do: Lock that spot down and don't leave any doubt."

There is security for Schneider that he hasn't had in the past in the form of a one-way contract, meaning he can't be sent down to the Canucks' AHL franchise in Manitoba if he doesn't make the big-league team. (In that unlikely scenario, Vancouver would have to place Schneider on waivers and risk losing him to another NHL team while getting nothing in return.)

As a restricted free agent at the end of last season, where he won 35 games with the Manitoba Moose with a 2.51 goals-against average and .919 save percentage, Schneider and the Canucks were able to work out a deal quickly to keep the keeper in the organization for another two years, where he'll bank $900,000 per season.

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