The New York Islanders are finalizing a deal with veteran free-agent goaltender Cory Schneider, as first reported by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
Schneider, 34, is reunited with Lou Lamoriello, the Islanders’ general manager who brought Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in 2013 following five years with the Vancouver Canucks.
Throughout the first half of the 2010s, Schneider was one of the more reliable goaltenders in the league during his time in Vancouver and New Jersey. Over six seasons (260 games), he posted a 2.13 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.
Injuries and struggles saw Schneider’s standing with the Devils disintegrate, leading to his placement on waivers and demotion to the AHL in 2019.
With the Islanders, he gets an opportunity to keep his career going while providing New York with some goaltending depth. They recently lost long-time third-string and AHL goaltender Christopher Gibson to the Tampa Bay Lightning in free agency.
There are multiple avenues the Islanders could take, though, rather than having Schneider immediately report to the team’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
If the highly-touted Ilya Sorokin — who came over to North America from Russia over the summer — needs time to adjust in the AHL before becoming the Islanders’ goalie of the future, Schneider could act as Semyon Varlamov’s backup until he’s ready.
A far less likely scenario is that Schneider would act as Sorokin’s backup and the Islanders are shopping Varlamov to clear cap space in their pursuit of a legitimate first-line winger and scorer.