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The New Jersey Devils are looking at their options in net beyond Mackenzie Blackwood.
A backup goalie may be the most important need this offseason. Cory Schneider was showing he was out of the woods again right before the NHL season pause, but we can’t get fooled again. This is now four-straight seasons where he had a save percentage under .910, and the past two seasons he was the worst goalie in the league.
It’s really a sad end to what was once a really great Devils career. However, we’re now in the territory where he has more bad seasons in a Devils uniform than he’s had good seasons. The Devils will likely decide it’s time to make a move on Schneider’s contract with Mackenzie Blackwood firmly taking over the net at just 23 years old.
The Devils have two very good reasons to make this decision now. One, Schneider’s compliance buyout wouldn’t hurt them that much if they made the decision now (it would cost $2 million over the next four seasons on the salary cap). The other reason is this free agency class is stacked with backup goalie options.
The Devils are going to be one of the most aggressive teams when it comes to going after the best goalie options in free agency. They have a ton of salary cap space, even if it goes down, to make the biggest offer to the best players in free agency. Here are five goalies the Devils should absolutely look to split time with Mackenzie Blackwood.