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.