Here is my best guess as to what the game plan is for our goal tending situation.
When Gillis and ownership realized that Luongo was not tradeable and would need to be bought out, they looked at the situation and saw that one of three things would happen over the next season if they traded Schneider:
Luongo could play well and be happy playing for the Canucks, in which case he would be kept by the Canucks for years to come.
Luongo could play well but be unhappy playing for the Canucks, in which case they would have another opportunity in a year to trade him for assets, without the “backup” label and stench of desperation influencing the result, especially if he plays lights out in the Olympics.
Luongo could struggle, in which case they can buy him out next year with one year less of wasted salary for ownership to eat, and another year of experience for one of our Swedish goaltenders, who may even prove themselves enough to become our starter.
My point is that I can see why this was a more palatable prospect for ownership than buying out Luongo and eating a huge amount of his salary for nothing. All it costs is one high risk year for us fans, but I am sure that was more desirable to ownership than the buyout plan.