Last season Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur unsuccessfully shared duties as the New Jersey Devils netminders, leaving nothing short of drama and a disappointing season in their path as the club missed the NHL playoffs for the second season in a row. With all that happened last year,Schneider isn’t taking any chances moving forward.
Today The Star-Ledger put out a report stating that Schneider has confirmed to the New Jersey newspaper that the he and the Devils have been in talks about extending his stay with the team well-passed next season.
He just has one major concern before signing up for that responsibility.
According to The Star-Ledger, Schneider’s decision to stay with the Devils isn’t so much about sharing the crease with legendary goalie Martin Brodeur- which neither goalie seemed to enjoy- but whether or not the team is willing to finally name him their No. 1 goalie long-term.
“Not just him, per se, but anybody who they would want to bring in or call up,” Schneider told the New Jersey paper. “ It’s a discussion about if they want me to be the guy going forward, we have to figure out that part of it.”
There’s been no talk publicly about what Lou Lamoriello and the Devils plan to do with Brodeur, who will be free to test the market on July 1, but that could and should change leading up to free agency.
While the chatter between the two camps is simply just that, it’s better than nothing. After years of watching Lamoriello sit on his hands as players walked away from the organization, it’s been the hope of Devils’ fans that the general manager would be proactive in his attempts to sign Schneider a year before his contract expires, rather than sitting on it.
“Mr. Lamoriello said I’d be a priority. It would be very un-Devil-like of me to discuss negotiations, but both sides have talked and we’ve made it known what we’d like to do going forward.”
Didn’t take him long to get that part down.
Schneider played 45 games-a career high- between the pipes last season with the Devils, collecting a 16-15-12 record along with a .921 save percentage and a 1.97 GAA which ranked him third among NHL goaltenders. The biggest stat the former Vancouver Canuck seems to have issue with at this point, is the one under ‘games played’, a column that has haunted him much of his career, playing alongside both Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur. Because of that, it’s no surprise that Schneider is looking for an agreement on how many starts he would get if he did stay with New Jersey.
“I was hoping to step into that (No. 1 role) maybe a little earlier,” Schneider said. “ As far as going forward, if I can start playing 60 games next year and go from there, it will be a great spot. You sit back and realize there are only 30 starting positions in the league. If you can have one of them, that’s a good place to be.”
So far this off season the Devils have re-signed forward Jaromir Jagr and defenseman Marek Zidlicky. Five regulars from last season’s squad, including Brodeur, remain unsigned and will become free agents next month unless Lamoriello takes them off of the table before then.