It has been a long summer of Canuck and Devils trade rumours—none of which have been realised—but they keep coming up and I'd like to take a stab at why.
I'm guessing that that the Devils are having a hard time with the commandment that says “thou shalt not covet thy neighbours goaltending prospects.”
It's no secret that we need some scoring and the Devils could use another top-4 d-man, but I'm betting that Corey Schneider is the reason that the 'Nucks-Devils rumours keep coming up.
Why? well there is a lot of talk about Martin Brodeur retiring after this season. And, whether it's this season, the next, or in two years, Brodeur will be done and Lamoriello will want a young goaltending stud to take over—the Devils haven't needed goaltending prospects for a long time. The timing is almost perfect. My bet is that, if Lamoriello gets Schneider, Brodeur will be asked to return for one more season at a reduced work-load to mentor Schneider. This would give Schneider a year in the farm and another year to make sure that he is ready for big-league play.
I'd peg Montreal as another team that has young coveted goaltenders and a stable goaltending situation, but Montreal, unlike Vancouver, is in the same conference the Devils so they are a lot less likely to do a deal.
Without really knowing anything about the negotiations, that's Eklund's job, I would be willing to bet that Lamoriello is asking for a top-4 d-man and Schneider for Elias.
Now, I'm not saying that this trade will happen—as a Canucks fan I hope it doesn't—but it will fulfill the Devil's immediate need for a d-man and their long-term need for a goaltender to replace Brodeur which is why I think that these rumours keep coming up.
Given that a trade hasn't happened yet, I would also look for a three-way trade in which Schneider goes to the Devils since the Canucks and Devils can't make it work between them.