After getting a shot of the postseason for the first time since 2012, the New Jersey Devils are looking to continue their season from last spring and head further this time around in 2018-19. However, a key piece of the roster will be missing for training camp and could also miss the beginning of the campaign.
Starting goalie Cory Schneider will not play in any preseason games and could miss the start of the regular season for the New Jersey Devils, general manager Ray Shero said Thursday to NHL.com's Mike Morreale. Schneider is still undergoing rehab from offseason hip surgery and will be sidelined for all six of New Jersey's exhibition games.
Shero added that he's not sure about Schneider's status for the Devils' regular-season opener against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 6.
"He's been skating for a few weeks, so everything is basically on course and I think the timetable remains 5-6 months since his surgery," Shero said. "One thing I do know is that we won't rush and push him. He's not here to participate in the exhibition [game], but everything is trending in the right direction and we'll see the next couple of days as do whether he'll (practice with teammates) or work on his own on the ice."
"I've skated with the guys a few times, but I wouldn't call it a full practice by any means, so I'm still in the rehabilitation and recover phase," Schneider said. "We'll take it day by day to when I can ramp up intensity and volume. Those decisions will be made by the training staff. We're not looking to have a setback late by pushing too hard, but the goal is to get me in game shape as soon as possible."
"It's hard to pinpoint a time when I could return, but right now I'm more focused on the immediacy of feeling better every step and every stage and doing the things I need to do to feel game ready," he said. "I'm hopeful it'll be sooner than later, but we're open to all the options and what's best for me."
Schneider has battled a nagging groin injury all through last season. The injury limited him to just 40 games as backup Keith Kinkaid stepped up and registered a 26-10-3 record across 41 appearances.
However, Schneider returned in time for the postseason in the spring and impressed through four appearances against the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting a 1.78 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage, proving the Devils need him back this season.
If not, it will be a serious blow...