In a seamless transition, the engaging Cory Schneider went from detailed analysis of a double-clutch slapshot by Dennis Wideman on Saturday to an amateur doctor assessment of the bicep strain suffered by pitcher John Lackey earlier in the day. Welcome to Schneider’s world. All knowing and glowing after recently getting engaged, he has maintained a high level of professionalism through the awkward Roberto Luongo trade watch and brought his game back to re-enter the NHL top 10 in goals-against average and saves percentage. Yes, it’s good to be Cory. Not only is the Boston native an ardent backer of the Red Sox — judging by his knowledge and quick diagnosis of the Lackey ailment — the balance of a strong professional and personal life has provided another avenue to deal with his demanding position. In the court of public opinion, where you’re as good as your last game, there has to be a significant support system. As much as he values the competition and camaraderie provided in a tandem with the driven Luongo — and maintenance of his game with goalie coach Roland Melanson — there’s something to be said for having a great relationship with his teammates and a better one with his fiancée, Jill, whom he met by chance one summer in Boston. “I won’t get into the details,” said Schneider. “It was no setup. Kind of a long story, but I’m glad it worked out.” When Chris Higgins signed a four-year, $10-million extension Tuesday, the winger was expected to buy dinner that night for his teammate. He didn’t have to. Schneider had some big news, too, and gladly reached for his wallet. “I took care of that,” chuckled Schneider. “It was my turn to buy, he gets the next one. The years come by pretty quickly and you’re 27 and your priorities change. You’re at a place where you’re just really content with your life both on and off the ice. Sometimes the balance is great to have and puts things in perspective.” It’s the opposite of Luongo. After not moving at the Wednesday trade deadline and then allowing raw emotion to bubble to the surface, it spoke of his uncertainty and unrest. He just wants to play, but is saddled by nine years left on a contract that’s harder to move with the salary cap ceiling lowering to $64.3 million US next season. The contract is cap friendly at $5.3 million annually, but there’s a $6.7 million hit in real dollars the next five seasons. If that isn’t enough.
Canucks’ Schneider in a happy place
Vancouver Province | Apr 8