After days of speculation, the Devils made it official on Wednesday, announcing they’ve signed goalie Cory Schneider to a multi-year deal.
“We’re pleased to announce that we have solidified our goaltending for not only this year but for the future,” GM Lou Lamoriello said, per the Star-Ledger. “We’ve gone from one great goalie to another.”
In true Devils fashion, the club didn’t release any details regarding the deal, but both TVA and NorthJersey.com report it’s a seven-year contract worth $42 million, good for an average annual cap hit of $6M. That cap hit would put Schneider as the eighth-highest among NHL goalies, on par with Corey Crawford and Ryan Miller, though it’s important to note 2014-15 is the last season of Schneider’s old deal (three years, $12 million, a $4M cap hit) — his extension won’t kick in until 2015-16.
Schneider, 28, will now move forward as a clear-cut No. 1 goalie for the first time in his career. After spending his first five professional seasons in Vancouver’s timeshare with Roberto Luongo, Schneider — acquired by the Devils at the 2013 NHL Entry draft — found himself in another goalie tandem last season with Devils legend Martin Brodeur.
The result? At 28, Schneider has never appeared in more than 45 games (which came in his first year with the Devils) and has made just 143 career appearances. To put that in perspective, the other prominent goalie from Schneider’s ’04 draft class, Pekka Rinne, has played in 317 career games despite missing almost all of last season with hip problems.
Lack of playing time appears to be a thing of the past for Schneider, however. With Brodeur still testing free agency and unlikely to return to New Jersey, the Devils are putting all their eggs in the Schneider basket with just Keith Kinkaid and Scott Clemmensen as the depth options behind him.
In terms of total salary, Schneider’s reported $42 million would put him among the league’s elite: