June 30, 2013, Newark, New Jersey – the hockey world was stunned by a trade that took place between the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks. The Devils sent their ninth overall pick and the Canucks parted ways with goaltender Cory Schneider.
The crowd roared in joy that not only did they receive a top-knotch goalie, but the question mark at the goaltending spot once Martin Brodeur retires, transitioned into an exclamation point.
While Devils fans partied, the trade left Canucks fans wondering whether it was smart. Everyone in Vancouver, including Roberto Luongo believed that Schneider was the goalie for the future.
Schneider received a contract in 2012 following the 2012 playoffs worth an annual cap hit of $4,000,000. General Manager Mike Gillis believed he had found the successor to Luongo. Following the signing, Luongo asked to be traded, but no team in the NHL wanted to take on the remaining nine years of his 12-year $64 million contract, which would bring him over the age of 40.
However, either way Vancouver maintained an extremely talented goaltender. Things just did not go in favor of Schneider, or did they?
Schneider gets to be mentored by arguably the greatest goaltender of all time and he is in a considerably smaller hockey market in New Jersey in contrast to Vancouver. This is not putting down the Devils organization, it is merely just saying that hockey is everything in Vancouver, just like baseball in New York, and soccer in England, putting less pressure on Schneider.
Once schedules came out in the summer, one date stood out to the eyes of Schneider, October 8th, the date when the Devils play the Canucks in Vancouver.
But now it is October 7th, 2013 and Schneider and the Devils are just over 24-hours away from taking taking the ice in Vancouver.
The Devils gave Brodeur the start against the Edmonton Oilers today and presumably will give Schneider the start for tomorrow’s showdown in Vancouver.
“I’m sure it will be quite a big deal in Vancouver, but I don’t want it to be a distraction and take away from our group,” Schneider said after today’s practice at Rexall Place. “It’s a big game tomorrow and then back-to-back against a good team in Vancouver. They’re pretty important points and games, so I don’t want it to be any more than that.” via Tom Gulitti of The Record.
The reception for Schneider will be warm and loud, there is no reason for Canucks fans to boo Schneider since it was not his fault for leaving. Unlike the reception Zach Parise will receive at the Prudential Center later on this season. If Canucks fans were to boo anyone it would be Gillis for giving Luongo that massive contract. It will be fun a fun contest between Luongo and Schneider and I am excited to watch it.