We were all caught a little off guard when it was announced Sunday that Cory Schneider was traded from Vancouver to New Jersey.
But for the parties involved, it was something that had to happen and it works best for all parties involved. The Canucks get to lie in the Roberto Luongo bed they made, Schneider gets to leave the toxic, chaotic environment of Vancouver, and the Devils now have the heir apparent to one of the greatest goalies to ever strap on a pair of pads.
Some people feel bad for Schneider, because he’s been in the league for five seasons and still hasn’t sniffed a starting job. He ultimately got screwed (as has all goalies at one point or another) when he was told he was going to be the No. 1 goalie last season but ended up backing up Luongo because they couldn’t trade his contract for a bag of peanuts if they wanted to. And because he’s going from backing up one Canadian gold medal-winning goalie to another, but this situation is totally different than in Vancouver.
I consider the Martin Brodeur-Cory Schneider tandem this upcoming season a 1A/1B scenario. When Pierre McGuire speaks on television I usually mute the TV but he said something Sunday during the NHL Entry Draft that I actually agreed with. He made reference to the New York Rangers of the early 1990’s when they had John Vanbiesbrouck and Mike Richter. When they were together they were the best 1-2 combination in the league and they even won a Presidents Trophy in 1992.
I believe Schneider will earn more playing time in New Jersey than in Vancouver for several reasons. He knows Brodeur doesn’t much left in the tank in terms of his career. This could very well be his last season playing. With how injury-prone Brodeur is, he could very well start as much as 4-5 games straight. He will also see action when the Devils play on consecutive nights to give Brodeur additional rest.
Another question the Devils face is “What happens with Johan Hedberg?” It appears the Devils have no other option but to try to move the 40-year old goalie. Like Brodeur, Hedberg is in the final year of his contract. With a $1.4 million contract, it’s going to be difficult but possible to find a team who would want him. But there is one thing we do know. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said Brodeur is their No. 1 goalie but with Schneider, “We have the goalie of the future.”