The New Jersey Devils have solidified their goalie situation by giving current starter Cory Schneider a seven-year, $42 million extension today. The news was announced by president and GM Lou Lamoriello at a press conference this afternoon.
This move will avoid the season-long questions with Schneider’s deal set to end, and no starter beyond him. This means the Devils’ goaltending situation is set for close to a decade, like it had been for two decades prior with Martin Brodeur.
Schneider got a taste of what life will be like as a Devil last season, after he was brought over in a draft-day trade that sent a first-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks. There have been mixed reviews, mostly because many fans are having trouble saying goodbye to Brodeur, but overall, Schneider has been amazing.
Schneider ranked third in the NHL with a 1.97 goals against average (first among players with at least 40 games). He was top 15 in save percentage, ahead of players like Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick. The stats say he is worth the $6 million he will be getting annually.
While there is a lot to be excited about, there’s room for improvement. He was not the best when it came to handling the puck, but he was definitely getting better by working with Brodeur. The shootout is still a weakness. He never won one, and was 58th in the league in shootout save percentage. Now with the thought of a contract extension behind him, he can focus on fixing these flaws.
This is the best news the Devils could have hoped for. The extension will go under the radar with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews signing their monster deals today. The publicity will go to the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Devils can continue to make their moves with a low profile. With so many of their stars leaving in recent years, it is nice for the Devils to keep one of their stars long-term.
With Schneider in tow for the next eight seasons, now the team can focus on what to do with their influx of forwards, and how to spend the remaining $5 million they have under the salary cap. Schneider will be wearing a black and red sweater for a long time, and that’s a good thing.