The Cory Schneider-to-New Jersey trade caught a lot of people off guard.
Including some within the Devils organization.
Like head coach Peter DeBoer, for example. On Monday, DeBoer said he had no idea his team was going to acquire the Vancouver netminder — even though he was at the draft.
“No I didn’t know. It was a surprise to me until Lou [Lamoriello, Devils GM] came down to our end of the table and told me,” DeBoer told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “It was a real pleasant surprise, obviously. I don’t think it’s any secret that everybody has been wondering what is going to happen next at such a key position.”
While an amusing anecdote, it’s not too surprising.
Lamoriello is notoriously secretive and, at times, basically non-communicative when it comes to discussing player transactions, negotiations and contracts.
On that note, neither of the Devils’ goalies at the time — Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg — knew the Schneider deal was going down; Brodeur said he was “shocked” by the trade while Hedberg said he was caught off guard.
There’s also the not-so-small issue of New Jersey hosting the draft.
Had word leaked of the trade prior to Sunday’s selection, there’s a decent chance Devils fans — who were lined up to watch the club select ninth overall — would’ve stayed away.
Why show up if there’s no drama?
Finally, there’s the notion that while this deal was hatched prior to the draft, pulling the trigger happened quickly.
It could’ve been contingent on Bo Horvat being available at No. 9 for Vancouver to select; it could’ve also been one of those deals with a small window of opportunity.
The latter is the way DeBoer saw it, and he praised his boss for pouncing on the chance.
“When you look around the league starting goaltenders in their prime are few and far between. And they usually don’t get moved,” he explained.
“I think it was a unique opportunity and Lou jumped on it.”