Getting goalie Cory Schneider signed to a contract extension is “right on the top of” Lou Lamoriello’s offseason to-do list.
But the Devils’ general manager was less forthright about the future of Martin Brodeur, a pending unrestricted free agent.
“I think that right now you just take a step back,” Lamoriello said, per The Record. “It was a very difficult situation on both goaltenders, a very difficult situation certainly on the coaching staff, but when you have an opportunity that we did at that given time and knowing what the future is, that’s a decision I made and I take responsibility for that. I certainly would do it over a knowing what the potential was and it’s real. But, right now, that’s not something I’m thinking of.
“I’m thinking of a lot of things right now and I have to just sit down with Marty and have a discussion.”
If Brodeur were just some goalie, his age (41) and numbers (.901 save percentage) would make Lamoriello’s decision an easy one. Schneider would become the undisputed number one and another goalie — perhaps young Keith Kincaid — would become the backup.
Brodeur, of course, is not just some goalie. He’s a franchise legend. And one does not simply cast aside a franchise legend.
That being said, Lamoriello must also think about Schneider, who already had to deal with an uncomfortable situation in Vancouver when he took the starting job away from Roberto Luongo. When he was traded to New Jersey in the summer, he walked into another uncomfortable situation.
Schneider, 28, has a career .925 save percentage. Among active goalies with over 100 games played in the NHL, only Tuukka Rask (.928) has stopped a higher percentage of shots than that.
Schneider is signed through next season for a cap hit of $4 million, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent. He’s eligible to sign an extension on July 1.