Schneider clears waivers, assigned to AHL
- Cory Schneider has passed through waivers and been assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
- Schneider’s $6 million cap hit and .852 save percentage likely kept potential suitors from claiming the 33-year-old New Jersey Devils netminder but the club was hoping he would be able to remain with them.
- The Devils have never backed down from their belief in the once-elite goalie and think an AHL assignment will help him once again find his game, much like it did last season.
“Last year he struggled a little bit and he went down to Binghamton and played and he got his footing back,” coach John Hynes said Tuesday morning. “We looked at the schedule and we didn’t see him getting into a lot of games in the next couple weeks. So it’s an opportunity for him, for us to continue to work with him and for him to go down and play and get live game action.”
- There have been several points throughout the last few seasons where the team didn’t feel comfortable using him.
- He didn’t get a win for more than a calendar year and Keith Kinkaid and Mackenzie Blackwood often played both ends of back-to-backs.
- A technical, fluid goalie, Schneider makes goaltending look easy when he’s at his best.
- But nothing was coming easy or looking easy for Schneider in his six starts this season.
- He wasn’t able to maintain a high level of play throughout an entire 60 minutes.
“He just wasn’t at a level consistent enough throughout the games to be able to find ways to win games,” Hynes said. “That’s why we’re going to try and get him the opportunity to do that.”
- Last season, as Schneider struggled to return to form after rehabbing from a hip surgery he underwent in April of 2018, Kinkaid was overplayed out of necessity and the results were dismal.
- The organization didn’t want to repeat that mistake with Blackwood, a 22-year-old coming off a strong rookie season but one in which he only played in 23 NHL games.
- So far, Blackwood has been able to handle the workload but the Devils couldn’t keep playing him at a Martin Brodeur-like pace.
- There is too much speed and too much skill in today’s NHL for goalies to make 70 starts. The ideal split for the Devils was roughly 55-27, give or take a few games.
- Blackwood has already started 13 and with the team still hoping to climb out of the cellar, there was an urgency to make a move in goal. Louis Domingue, a veteran NHL backup goalie, will play behind Blackwood while Schneider tries to find his game in the AHL and try and win at another level.
“When you have a good game and things go well, you’ve got to get back into the net and play. And sometimes when you have a bad night, you’ve still got to get back into the net and play,” Hynes said. “We’re not in a position right now to be able to afford him that opportunity. And the way Mackenzie has played and is playing right now, we’re going to give him the majority of the games as long as he continues to do so.”
- The Devils have emphasized the fact that this is not a severing of ties with the goalie they brought in to replace Brodeur.
- They want him to contribute. Schneider has always been a key piece for this team, even after former team president and general manager, Lou Lamoriello, departed.
- They brought in his longtime goalie coach who was with him in Vancouver, Roland Melanson, a few years ago and rookie Jack Hughes is still living with the Schneider family at their home in Short Hills.
- This isn’t the end for Schneider, but only time will tell what happens next.
Sources & Credits: Abbey Mastracco, NHL