If any player in the history of the NHL should be frustrated, it is Cory Schneider. He started his career with the Vancouver Canucks, where he went from backing up Roberto Luongo to taking the starting position and then flip-flopping all over the place. Through all of this, he didn’t say much. While there was some frustration, it all came off as wanting to play and win rather than just complaining.
Schneider was finally traded to the New Jersey Devils, but once again he had to share the goaltender throne with possibly the best to ever put on the pads, Martin Brodeur. Last season, Schneider was finally the guy in net, as proof by him playing the first games of the season. He went through a tough season, despite having some of the best stats in the league.
Now, the Devils are in rebuilding mode. They sat back while they watched every team in their division prove they are true contenders (well, except the Carolina Hurricanes). They are clearly far away from making a playoff run. That doesn’t make Scheider angry or make him regret signing long-term with the Devils.
Instead of being a nuisance, Schneider says he is happy where he is. He just wanted an opportunity. He appreciates the fact that the Devils committed to him like they did. He wants to reward them by being a calming presence in the locker room. He wants to be the guy who gets them through the hard times.
Despite being late to the starting goalie club, Schneider still has a ton of years as an elite goalie. He is only 29 years old. He doesn’t have the game count that some other goalies his age have accumulated. He still has four or five years at the top of his game. The rebuild shouldn’t take that long. Ray Shero seems committed to turning this around quickly. Schneider may be in the perfect situation before he knows it. His patience with the franchise shows he was the right guy to build this team around.