It’s no select the Devils are wasting Cory Schneider‘s prime years by playing like crap. The Hockey News recently put Schneider at the top of a list of players that need a change in scenery. What would happen if the Devils did?
Cory Schneider is an elite goalie in the NHL. His problem is the team in front of him doesn’t give him enough help or goal support to even make the playoffs. The New Jersey Devils will be stuck in rebuild mode for another few season at least. Schneider is 31 years young, so the clock is ticking on this decision.
By the time New Jersey can contend for the Cup, Schneider may have outgrown his usefulness. Why not consider shopping him to a team like Dallas in hopes of landing some good young pieces to accelerate Shero’s rebuild? – The Hockey News
So, let’s say the Devils trade Cory Schneider and go full on into the rebuild. The return for Schneider could be to help the Devils dismal defense core. Draft picks can not be the only thing Schneider is traded for. The question then is who gets the start in net for New Jersey.
Keith Kinkaid is a free agent this year and based on his performance, he should not be coming back or be headed to Albany. Scott Wedgewood has only played in 10 games for Albany this season as they have gone with Ken Appleby and Mackenzie Blackwood, with 29 games each. Wedgewood has NHL experience and even has a shutout against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins on his resume. It would give him more exposure on the NHL level and even if it doesn’t work out, they are still in a rebuild so it won’t matter anyway.
If the Devils do they could give an old pro a last run in the league. Ryan Miller will be 37 this offseason, and a free agent. He is coming off of a three-year deal, and a similar one with the Devils would be a nice curtain call. He hasn’t been the same since the 2011-12 season and only made the place twice, since, once with Vancouver and one with St. Louis.
Don’t Trade Him
This is the more likely path the team will take. The Devils strongest position has always been in the goal. Cory Schneider is no different in the aspect. With Taylor Hall as a close second, Schneider is the best player on the team. If this rebuild is coming from anywhere, it is from the net out. Sure, he had an offseason this year but this season wasn’t suppose to go anywhere anyway.
If you look at Schneider numbers with the Devils minus this season they are Vezina worthy each years averaging out to 2.12 goals against average and a .923 save percentage to go along with 12 shutouts. The organization also obviously believes in this goaltender. Schneider was traded for the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft which was held at the Prudential Center, and it signaled the end of the Martin Brodeur era in New Jersey.
The Devils offense is one of the worst in the league and hasn’t given Schneider the help he has needed. If the team gets their act together offensively like they have shown in bursts lately, all they would have to fix is the defense and the team would be solid. Schneider is the one rock on the team.
Where does all of this talk come from?
Anytime a team is performing poorly, the top players become unhappy. If a guy has played with a team long enough, they might trade him in his last season. Ray Bourque was traded in his last season and won a Stanley Cup. It all depends on if a player wants to win a Stanley Cup or chooses loyal to his team. All players want to win the Stanley Cup at some point. It may not happen if they stay with one team. This is a topic of discussion with another goaltender across the Hudson.
Schneider is a crucial part of the New Jersey Devils grand overhaul. He can’t be traded away from the team, he is too valuable. Yes, this means that the rebuild will have to speed up but it can be done. The Devils must make it back to the playoffs within the next two to three years if they want to give Schneider a reason to stick around. If not then they might want to consider sending up elsewhere, where he might have a better shot at the Stanley Cup.
Schneider seems happy in New Jersey and he really wants to help the team win. He is popular with the fans and he can be elite again. Either way, moves will be made in Newark.