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Many fans watching the NHL Draft on Sunday afternoon were surprised to see the major trade made early on, with the Vancouver Canucks sending goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey in exchange for the No. 9 pick in the draft.
As it turned out, Schneider himself wasn’t even prepared to hear that news.
“I pretty much found out when Gary Bettman announced the trade on the TV,” Schneider told Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning. “I was kind of keeping an eye on it, flipping back and forth, and somebody from TSN sent me a text saying, ‘Have you heard anything about New Jersey?’ I was kind of like, ‘No,’ and he goes, ‘Well I think you’re about to go there.’ And literally, I flipped the channel and sure enough, the trade was announced. Right after that, I got a call from both general managers telling me what had happened.”
Schneider, a 27-year-old native of Marblehead, Mass., was expected to become Vancouver’s No. 1 goalie, but the Canucks’ inability to find a taker for Roberto Luongo’s albatross of a contract necessitated the team to trade him away. While a move from the West Coast of Canada to the East Cost of the U.S. is a major change, Schneider said his family is excited to hear the news.
“Mom and Dad are pumped,” Schneider said.
Schneider also referenced beloved Seinfeld character David Puddy when talking about his future in New Jersey.
“Well, what I do know is I’m going to be excited to just do the David Puddy forever and say, ‘We gotta support the team,’” Schneider said. “I might not, but I’m expecting all my friends to come down to paint their faces in such a manner. So a lot of guys are getting excited for that.”
Schneider is walking into another situation where a No. 1 goaltender is already well established, this time being future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, who at 41 years old will play at least one more season in the NHL.
“We haven’t really gone over with the GM what the plan is. I think that will all sort itself out,” Schneider said. “I get to work with Marty Brodeur. I used to have that guy’s poster on my wall when I was a teenager growing up. I don’t know if that makes him feel dated or older, but he’s been an unbelievable guy and goalie for this game, so I’m pretty excited to work with him, regardless of what happens.”
As for the upcoming Olympics in Russia next winter, Schneider said he’d love to make the U.S. team but realizes the competition will be stiff.
“It would be awesome. It would probably be the coolest experience I’ve had yet,” Schneider said. “All of a sudden, the U.S. has this incredible depth in goal. You look up and you see Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller and Craig Anderson and Jimmy Howard, and you’re kind of like, oh man, when did the U.S. get so good at goaltending? I might have to go back over to Switzerland [where he played during the lockout] and try to play for them instead.”