This afternoon the New Jersey Devils announced that they are placing goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers for the purpose of buying out the remaining two years of his contract. Please see the official announcement from the New Jersey Devils:
Announcement from the New Jersey Devils
What does this mean?
For starters, the New Jersey Devils are still in their rebuilding mode and are continuing to get younger. This move officially signals the MacKenzie Blackwood era in between the pipes for the Devils. Blackwood is younger and has shown he has the capabilities of being a number one goaltender in the NHL. Cory Schneider the last several years has been battling injuries and inconsistent play in goal. It was time to move on and go in a different direction.
Secondly, it looks like GM Tom Fitzgerald is looking for a veteran goaltender that can help guide and help support MacKenzie Blackwood. Fitzgerald wants a more reliable backup that can stay healthy and shows more consistency in his game when called upon to play. It looks like they want to give Gilles Senn a little more time to develop at the American Hockey League level as well. It won’t be surprising to see the Devils active in trying to sign a goalie when free agency opens up tomorrow. I can see Fitzgerald going after names like Anton Khudobin, Thomas Greiss, Mike Smith, or a Craig Anderson.