New Jersey Devils Waive Cory Schneider, Recall Louis Domingue

Cory Schneider
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 12: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins has his shot saved by Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils in the first period at TD Garden on October 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils announced two moves prior to practice on Monday. First, the Devils recalled goaltender Louis Domingue from Binghamton of the AHL. Next, the Devils announced they will place goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Binghamton of the AHL.

Domingue Recalled, Schneider Waived

The goaltending situation with the Devils has taken a strange turn. With MacKenzie Blackwood taking over the starter’s role from Cory Schneider, the Devils went out and traded for Domingue back on November 1st from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Domingue was immediately assigned to Binghamton. In four games with Binghamton, he posted a 2.25 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. In 26 games last season in the NHL, Domingue posted a 21-5-0 record with a Lightning, boasting a 2.88 GAA and .908 save percentage.

Thus with Domingue being recalled, the Devils made the difficult decision of placing Schneider on waivers. In six starts this season for the Devils, Schneider has a 0-4-1 record with a 4.59 goals-against average percentage. He is currently in the fifth season of a seven-year contract that has a $6 million cap hit.

Schneider’s Tenure With the Devils

The Devils traded the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft to the Vancouver Canucks for Schneider. It appeared the team had found their next franchise goalie after Martin Brodeur. At the time, it looked like a win for the Devils. However, the Canucks selected Bo Horvat and with Schneider going on waivers today, it appears the Canucks won that deal.

Schneider’s numbers have been on the decline since the 2015-16 season. In that season,  he played 58 games with a record of 27-25-6 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. In subsequent years, Schneider’s numbers have not been that great. From 2017-18 to present he has played in 72 games with a record of 23-33-11 with a 3.12 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.

Beginning in the 2017-18 season, Schneider has been injured often. Most of them relating to his lower-body. He came back too soon from a groin injury last season and missed several months, before returning towards the end of the season. It appeared things were heading in the right direction with his play towards the end of last season. He carried that over into the IIHF World Championships. As a matter of fact, Schneider was playing well against the Winnipeg Jets on opening night before leaving because of cramps.

This was not the first time Schneider lost his starting job. During the Devils run to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2018, he was replaced by Keith Kinkaid as the number-one guy. Schneider could not find his game because of all the injuries. He went through a stretch where he did not win a regular-season game in almost a full calendar year. His only win came in Game 3 in the first round against the Lightning in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Schneider’s Future

The writing was on the wall for Schnieder and the Devils. Blackwood for the second time in two weeks started in back-to-back games. The coaching staff had no faith in Schneider’s ability. If Schneider clears waivers, he will be able to sort out his problems in the AHL. Not only that but per the CBA, all but $1.075 million of his $6 million AAV will continue to count against the Devils salary cap.

If Schneider makes it to Binghamton, that means Binghamton would carry three goalies. Along with Schneider, the team would have Gilles Senn and Evan Cormier, who was called up from the ECHL earlier in the day. The Devils are hoping a team claims him, but who is in the market for a goalie with a bad contract? It will be interesting to see if a team out there takes a shot on Schneider.

For Schneider, this could be all mental. Maybe gaining confidence in himself and his game will help him going forward. The book is not closed on Schneider’s career, but the chapter with the Devils is.

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Jim is a 2008 graduate of Saint Michaels College who is currently writing about the NHL for Last Word on Hockey. His work includes writing about the New Jersey Devils as well as NHL Notebooks for the Metro and Central Division. Jim has a passion for the game of hockey. As one coach put it "he is the student of the game." When Jim is not writing he can be found at the local rinks playing or being a referee. Throughout his time in the game, Jim continues to coach a local high school team. In addition, he broadcasted several New Jersey Junior Rockets games for the Eastern Hockey League. Reach him on Twitter: @JimBiringer

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