New Jersey Devils: A Thank You Letter To Cory Schneider

Cory Schneider - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Cory Schneider - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Dear Cory,

Goodbyes are never easy, and saying goodbye to such a consummate professional is even more difficult. But before we say our goodbyes for good, let’s first go back to when we first met. We met on the draft day back in 2013 when the New Jersey Devils hosted the NHL Draft. Every Devils fan was pumped to have the 9th overall pick in the draft. Would it be Bo Horvat, Valeri Nischushkin, or Max Domi? We were about to find out when Gary Bettman approached the stage to present the 9th overall pick while being showered with boos. Then he said something into the microphone, where the booing abruptly stopped. ‘You’re going to want to hear this,’ he proclaimed!

Bettman said that there had been a trade and that the pick had been traded to the Vancouver Canucks for……none other than Cory Schneider. We were overwhelmed with so many emotions after the trade had been announced. With legend Martin Brodeur still on the team, it left many fans with bittersweet emotions. We knew that the Marty era was coming to an end, but we also knew that YOU were the goaltender of the future. Replacing a legend is never easy, yet you handled everything with such class. You and Marty split time during the 2013-14 season, even though you gave the team a better chance to win on a nightly basis.

When Marty left for good, the crease was still in good hands. No, not just with your glove hand, but the fact that you always gave the team a chance to win every single night. The team was not very good, but you stole many games the team had absolutely no business winning.

You became an elite goaltender with your absurd .923 save percentage and 2.16 goals-against average your first three years with the Devils. The .923% is the best three year stretch by any goaltender in New Jersey Devils history.

Unfortunately, injuries started to take a toll on you since 2016. You were never quite the same after playing through so much pain and recovering from major hip surgery. However, you gave the Devils a much-needed boost during the 2018 playoffs when their backs were against the wall down 0-2 to Tampa Bay. You were vintage Cory in that series helping the Devils win their first playoff game since 2012. Even though the Devils eventually lost the series, it was great to see you make it back there and play at a high level.

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You gave the Devils so many good memories during your tenure here, and more importantly, you have handled yourself with so much class. Even when the times were tough and you faced adversity, you were nothing but a true professional. Bouncing up and down from Binghamton and Jersey could not have been easy, but you would never know by how you conducted yourself. We hope that all of the young players in New Jersey and Binghamton took notes on your professionalism because they will be better in the end for it.

Off of the ice, you made a name for yourself within the New Jersey communities. You started ‘Cory’s Keepers’ which encouraged healthy living, academic excellence, and a variety of other endeavors for underprivileged youth and at-risk families in Newark and within New Jersey. You provided an experience that many children would not have otherwise experienced getting full VIP treatment at the Prudential Center for a Devils game.

We’re sorry that it did not end as we all hoped that it would. You deserved a lot better early on in your Devils’ career. We hope that your career gets back on track. There is no question that if you’re healthy enough, you could be an asset to any team that signs you.

You came here back in 2013 and quickly became a fan favorite. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish here in Jersey, especially because you replaced a legend. You will forever be a Devil, and we hope to see you again in the future. Thank you for being an outstanding hockey player but more importantly an even better human. We wish you nothing but the best in the future!

Best regards,

Pucks & Pitchforks