Cory Schneider was brought to the New Jersey Devils in a 2013 draft day trade with the Vancouver Canucks to be the successor to all-time great Martin Brodeur. Schneider only has one more year left on his contract before he could become an unrestricted free agent, so what is he worth to the team?
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has already said he would like to work out a long-term deal with Schneider before the season begins. He doesn’t want to have to compete with other teams for his star like he had to in recent years with Zach Parise, David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk. That is probably the best decision for the Devils moving forward, because they want to keep Schneider around for their price.
Looking back at what the Devils pay goalies, they are willing to pay for a great performance. They had one of the best goalies in the league in net for the past two decades. Now that they are moving on, it is hard to judge a man’s worth. Schneider had times where he was carrying the Devils through the season. He was a brick wall in many games, despite having a bad win/loss record.
The biggest concern when it comes to Schneider is the fact that he has never been “the guy.” He was always sharing time with either Roberto Luongo or Brodeur. Being behind two greats of their generation is nothing to sneeze at, but the fact is he never has been a true starter. That may help Lamoriello in negotiations, but I doubt he would bring that up. He wants him to know that he believes he is a franchise player.
I think the Devils should look to give Schneider as long of a contract as they can. You want to be careful, because some goalies have taken in massive contracts (like Henrik Lundqvist across the river). I think six years would be the perfect length for him. That would bring him into his 34th birthday which takes him just outside his prime, but where he could still earn a very good contract.
I think that they should pay him between $5 million and $5.5 million per season. That is enough of a raise that Schneider is happy and pretty much what the Devils were paying Brodeur when he was at his best. The perfect deal would be six years, $31.5 million. If the Devils and Lamoriello can get this done before the season starts, then it will be a huge headache the team doesn’t have to deal with all season.