The New Jersey Devil's cross river rivals have signed Henrik Lundqvist to a very large contract. How large? It will keep Lundqvist in New York through 2021 and will make him $59.5 million dollars richer in the process. Since the Rangers now have a solid goaltender signed for multiple years, it is vital that the Devils lock up Cory Schneider sometime before the end of next season. The question for the Lou Lamoriello and the Devils staff: Will Schneider break the bank?
The NHL has seen a dramatic increase in goalie salaries over the last few seasons, and Lundqvist's contract just upped the ante for what the Devils will have to pay Schneider to keep him around for 5+ years. So, let's compare Cory with Henrik and see if the Devils will have to sign him to a $60 million contract to keep him in New Jersey.
Body of Work
Lundqvist has played almost five times as many regular season games as Schneider. Therefore, he definitely has shown that he can put up consistent numbers year after year while also playing a large majority of the games. Lundqvist has also been the starting goalie for the Rangers for 8 years, while Schneider has yet to play more than 33 games in a season. Last season, Schneider played 30 games out of the shortened 48 game season. So, technically Schneider was the starting goalie for the Canucks for one season. While Schneider has clearly been tested in over 100 games, it just doesn't carry the weight of Lundqvist's 530+ games. So, how do the two goalies stack up when comparing their stats?
Schneider has 59 wins and Lundqvist has 59. It would seem that Lundqvist has the edge, but if you look at the two goalies win percentages. They are eerily similar, Lundqvist holds a win percentage that is just above Schneider at 53.5% while Schneider sports a 53.2%. Martin Brodeur currently holds a win percentage of 54.7%. So, if Schneider keeps on this win percentage, he will do well for himself and the Devils.
As you can see, these two goalies are very equal in save percentage and goals against average. Schneider stops a higher percentage of the shots that comes his way while Lundqvist allows less goals per game. Another interesting note is that both goalies faced an average of 27 shots per game in their career. So, Schneider can make the argument that he should get paid similar to Lundqvist. Schneider however, only has 11 shutouts compared to Lundqvist's 47. This means that Schneider shuts out opposing teams 10% of the time while Lundqvist shuts out teams 9% of the time. Roughly similar again!
Lundqvist has played 67 playoff games compared to Schneider's 10 games. Schneider has very little playoff experience compared to Lundqvist, who led the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Finals a few years ago. This would be a potential talking point for the Devils to pay less than the Ranger's shelled out for the King.
Schneider's current salary is $3.5 million and will increase a half of a million next year. Lundqvist has a salary of $6.875 M, but will be one of the highest paid NHL players in 2014 at $11M. Lundqvist's cap hit will be $8.5M a season through 2021. So, after looking at all this information, what should we expect the Devils to shell out for Schneider? Given that Schneider has played less games and has very similar regular season stats, I suspect Schneider will garner a cap hit around $7.5M for a 5+ year contract. If the Devils try and sign him to a slightly shorter contract, the terms will probably be slightly different, but I suspect the Devils will attempt to lock up Schneider for the long-term.
What do you think Schneider is worth in wake of the Lundqvist signing? Will the Devils be able to keep Schneider, even if they're willing to shell out whatever he demands?