There’s a good chance that the New Jersey Devils won’t be very competitive over the next couple of seasons, so where does that leave 29-year-old goaltender Cory Schneider?
Certainly the Devils can come out of their rebuild while Schneider is still in his early 30s, but they are still running the risk of squandering the prime years of his career. It can’t be what Schneider was hoping for when he was first acquired in 2013 to be Martin Brodeur’s successor, but he’s willing to be patient.
“I’m really excited to step up here,” Schneider told NJ Advance Media. “We’re in transition somewhat, but (I’ll) hopefully be a calming presence and a veteran presence, even though I feel I’m a young 29. I hope to put my mark on a franchise and organization and hopefully carry them to a Stanley Cup one day.”
It helps that he’s got an eight-year, $42 million contract that kicks in this season, so he knows there’s a clear opportunity there for him to still be a big part of the Devils when they come out the other end of their rebuilding effort.
New Jersey will be going into the 2015-16 campaign with a young, but promising defense. For the Devils, the bigger question will be their offense, which has been near the bottom of the league for years and might require a meaningfully longer transitional period than the team’s blueline. That offense resulted in him finishing with a 26-31-9 record last season despite posting a 2.26 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Now, obviously, Holtby doesn’t really expect to get $8 million, just the same as the Caps don’t expect to get the 25-year-old goalie for a bargain $5.1 million. That’s just how arbitration works. Each side makes the strongest case it can.
The NHL’s highest cap hit for a goalie belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, at $8.5 million. And hey, the Holtby camp could argue* that Holtby actually has the same career save percentage as Lundqvist (.921).
Of course, the Caps could point to Cory Schneider having a .925 career save percentage, and his cap hit is only $6 million.
*As noted in the comments, only comparables that cover RFA years can be used in arbitration. But the point stands: Holtby has very good career numbers. If not Lundqvist, he could argue he deserves what Sergei Bobrovsky, 26, will make in Columbus next season.
Schneider suggested 3-on-3 OT goalie stats should be kept separate
With the latest rule changes to the structure of overtime, has it become so different from the rest of the game that those 3-on-3 minutes should be kept separate statistically, just like shootouts? New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider argued in favor of such a distinction.
“It’s going to be interesting for the goalies,” Schneider said of the decision to adopt the new overtime format, per ESPN. “I was a passenger during that discussion. I suggested a side category where a goalie’s 3-on-3 stats could be hidden away and not put into your main stats, because it’s going to be tough. There’s so much talent in the NHL and sometimes 5-on-5 opens up, but 3-on-3 is going to open up and fans are really going to love it. It’s going to be up and down the ice. It’s going to be hard for us goalies, so we’re going to have to be really sharp and ready to go.”
Of course, the hope is that 3-on-3 overtime has the impact Schneider is suggesting as that would lead to fewer games being decided by a shootout. It also has the potential to hurt the statistics of goalies for the very same reason.
As far as whether or not that’s reason enough to separate those statistics is open to different opinions. As it is there are a lot of different situations that play out over the course of an NHL game that get lumped together if you only look at the base numbers. In 2014-15, Joe Thornton’s five empty-net goals were worth the same as Tyler Toffoli’s five shorthanded markers as far as overall statistics were concerned, just as 3-on-3 play during regulation time would be counted together with 5-on-5 actions.
That being said, with the rise of analytics fans have the luxury of filtering out certain scenarios if they choose to do so. For example, if you want to attempt to evaluate players on a more consistently level field by only looking at 5-on-5 play, you can do that. So in a way, each person will get to decide for themselves if the new overtime play should be counted alongside everything else.