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Schneider Starting New Trend of Devils at the All-Star Game

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Over the years, the NHL All-Star Weekend has seen some of the greats of the Devils, from numbers 30 to 4, 27, 26, and others. However, those numbers and players were all part of the old dynasty of Devils. This year, Schneider brings in a new guard.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Considering that we are in the thick of All-Star Weekend, I thought a New Jersey Devils-themed all-star post would make sense.  What I realized when looking at the list of former Devils who have been selected is that if this rebuild goes to plan and the Devils can seriously rebuild with a good core of young players, Cory Schneider will be the first Devil of this "new generation" to make the all-star game.

To showcase what I mean, between 1992 and 2016, here are the Devils who were selected to the all-star game.  (Information here comes from Wikipedia but is backed by links to each year's all-star rosters on NHL.com, and it was easier just to pull from one webpage then to individually clink into each roster on NHL's website) (also, years not listed were years without an all-star game, with the exception of 2012, when both Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson withdrew from the rookie rosters due to injury):

Year

Player(s)

1992

Scott Stevens

1993

Scott Stevens, Craig Billington

1994

Scott Stevens

1996

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur

1997

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur

1998

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Bobby Holik, Scott Niedermayer

1999

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Bobby Holik

2000

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez

2001

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer, Alexander Mogilny

2002

Patrik Elias, Brian Rafalski

2003

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur

2004

Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski

2007

Martin Brodeur, Brian Rafalski

2008

Martin Brodeur

2009

Zach Parise

2011

Patrik Elias

2015

Patrik Elias

2016

Cory Schneider

So, looks pretty similar each year right?  Apart from Parise as the lone inductee from New Jersey in 2009 and of course Schneider this year, the names are really similar.  Stevens and Brodeur of course are mainstays, with Stevens getting 11 nods to the game and Brodeur with 10.  Then you have Elias with 4, Niedermayer with 3, Rafalski with 3, and Holik with 2.  Other than a couple random names (Gomez, Mogilny and Billington one each), that was it for those 13 or so years.

When you consider what that time frame encompasses, it really was the glory days when the team never missed the playoffs.  It was those dominant teams that Lou Lamoriello built that lasted for basically two decades.  Since the lockout in 2012 it's only been last year and this year, when we have Elias and Schnieder getting the nod.  Elias can be seen as the last figure of the old dynasty, while Schneider can arguably be looked at as the first dominant force of what we hope to be a new one.  Perhaps over the next several years, we will see more Cory on that list, and perhaps some Adam Larsson, Adam Henrique, Pavel Zacha, Mike Cammalleri, and who knows who else.  It would be a new set of stars for the Devils.

What does this really mean?  Not much.  To me, it is just another indicator that we as Devils fans are really into something completely new, and we have not had "completely new" in decades.  The 2012 cup run had a bunch of new players on it, as many of the familiar faces were banished after the poor 2010-11 season.  But it was still a team that felt like a continuation of the old guard, a team built by Lamoriello and protected by Martin Brodeur.

This year, we have a new GM, a new head coach, and we have a new backbone.  Cory Schneider.  At a time when we are about to honor this team's greatest goaltender, overall contributor and player, first we get to see the present and future in action in Nashville. Despite his detractors, Schneider absolutely deserves to be in Nashville this weekend, and I am very glad that he will be manning the net for our team for the rest of this decade.  The hope here is that if all goes well, Schneider's name on that list will be the start of a new trend of players from New Jersey attending the all-star game.  While we may not see players with 10 or 11 appearances like Stevens and Brodeur had, if things work out well, we may see the same names over and over.  It would be the sign of a quality, competitive franchise with a quality, competitive core.  What we all want is for Ray Shero and John Hynes to turn this team back into the competitive franchise that it was for the better part of the previous two decades.  The all-star roster over the next decade will more than likely tell whether or not they succeed or not.

So as you watch the skills competition and the all-star game this weekend, if you plan to, you can think of it like this: if all goes well for our favorite franchise, this could be the first year of a new set of Devils' regulars in the all-star festivities.  At least, you can certainly hope so.  I will be.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts over this all-star weekend?  What do the old names on the list recall from your memories?  Do you look at this year's all-star game as the potential start of a new list of names that could be a potential core for this franchise?  Do you think the Devils can make that happen?  Please leave your comments below, and thanks for reading.