Last season, the goaltending picture of the New Jersey Devils was cloudy at best. Wednesday, the team cleared it up for the foreseeable future.
On Wednesday, the team announced that they had signed goaltender Cory Schneider to a multi-year contract extension. While terms were not reported, it is reportedly for seven years with an average annual value of $6 million. The deal, which will kick in for the 2015-2016 season, will also include a no-trade clause.
“With today’s signing, we have solidified our goaltending for the present and the future,” said general manager Lou Lamoriello. “Cory demonstrated throughout the year what he could bring to our organization, both on and off the ice.“
Schneider was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for the Devils’ first round selection (9th overall), with which they took Bo Horvat. In his first season in New Jersey, Schneider appeared in 45 games, winning 16. He had a save percentage of .921 and a goals against average of 1.97, the latter was the third best mark in the league.
Last season, Schneider split time in net with legendary Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. He was also in a similar situation during his tenure with the Canucks, sharing the net with Roberto Luongo (now of the Florida Panthers). Brodeur is not expected to be retained, so the 28-year-old Schneider should assume the outright starting job for the first time in his career.
“Cory's not here to replace Marty; Cory's here to establish his own identity which he has done and go forward with that,” said Lamoriello. “We're just delighted because we go from one great goaltender to another. The philosophy of this organization has been built from the goaltender out and that will continue to be the philosophy."
The 42-year old Brodeur struggled some last season, with a goals against average of 2.51 and a save percentage of .901. That being said, he did have three more wins than Schneider in six less appearances. After spending his entire career with the Devils, he is now a free agent and expected to sign with another team.
"Marty has had a tremendous career here and Marty will always be a Devil," said Lamoriello.