by Fitzgerald Cecilio
The New Jersey Devils have traded their ninth overall selection to the Vancouver Canucks for goalie Cory Schneider, who could become Martin Brodeur's successor when the veteran netminder finally decides to hang up his skates.
"I think we're getting a goaltender, not only for the present but for the future," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "Certainly Marty is at the point where he can't play the way he played as far as the number of games he played. And this young man has proven to be a No. 1 goaltender. I feel great about it."
While saying Brodeur will be a tough act to follow in New Jersey, the 27-year-old is thrilled to be his partner for now.
"I've been a huge fan of Marty Brodeur," Schneider said. "I started watching him when he first came into the league. For a guy like me to have played with, first, Roberto Luongo and now to get a chance to play with Marty Brodeur, a lot of goalies would kill for that opportunity to learn from those two guys.
Schneider posted a 17-9-4 record last season with a 2.11 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and five shutouts. In 2011-12, he notched a career-best 20 wins with a 1.96 GAA and three shutouts in 33 appearances.
He has a career mark of 55-26-8 with a 2.20 GAA, .927 save percentage and nine shutouts in 98 games with the Canucks.
"Marty is still a No. 1 goaltender. No question there," Lamoriello said. "It's just a question of how much he can play to keep at the top of his game, with back-to-back games and in the Olympic year coming with what will be a condensed schedule.
Schneider has no problem returning to a backup role, saying that "working with the best goalie who ever played the game can be nothing but good for me."
The trade likely will mean the end of backup Johan Hedberg's career with the Devils. Hedberg has one year remaining ($1.4 million) and has a no-trade clause on his contract.
"I have no thoughts right now on any of that at this point," Lamoriello said. "I'm going to sit down with Heddy, talk to him and see where we're at."
Islanders Waive Goalie Rick DiPietro
The New York Islanders placed Rick DiPietro on waivers with a purpose of using a compliance buyout of the beleaguered goaltender's contract, which has eight years remaining at $4.5 million annually.
The move signals the end of DiPietro's disappointing stint with the Islanders, which was marred by numerous injuries.
DiPietro, who inked a 15-year, $67.5 million deal back in 2006, will be paid out $1.5 million annually over the next 16 years, per the rules of the compliance buyout in the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement.
Once bought out, DiPietro will be free to sign with another team as an unrestricted free agent.
"It is an extremely tough decision to use the compliance buyout on Rick's contract," Islanders general manager Garth Snow told Newsday. "His drive to win games and compete at the highest level for the New York Islanders was never questioned."
"With Rick back at 100 percent health, we wish him nothing but the best as he continues to pursue his career," Snow added.
The first overall pick at the 2000 NHL Draft, DiPietro appeared in 319 games for New York, going 130-136-36 with a 2.87 GAA and .902 save percentage.
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