In 20 NHL seasons, there’s not much Anaheim Ducks
defenseman Mathieu Schneider
hasn’t seen or done.
So when it comes to one of the most stressful times on the NHL calendar -– the days leading up to the trade deadline –- Schneider takes it all in stride.
“I think for the most part as a player you block it all out until something actually happens,” he said. “My whole career, I’ve said if it’s a rumor, chances are it’s not going to happen.”
It’s happened three times for Schneider.
* On April 5, 1995, the Montreal Canadiens traded Schneider, Kirk Muller and Craig Darby to the New York Islanders for Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov.
* On March 13, 1996, the Islanders dealt Schneider, along with Wendel Clark and D.J. Smith, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson and a 1997 first-round draft pick (which was used on Roberto Luongo).
* And on March 11, 2003, the Los Angeles Kings traded Schneider to the Detroit Red Wings for Sean Avery, Maxim Kuznetsov and a pair of draft picks.
Each time, the move allowed Schneider to climb up the standings and have a shot for a second Stanley Cup; he won his first with Montreal in 1993.
“The times that I’ve been moved at the deadline,” he said, “it’s been going from a team that’s really struggled to a team that has a chance to win, or is going to the playoffs. That’s very exciting.”
None of the moves have paid off with a second Stanley Cup for Schneider. Part of that, he reasons, was the late timing of the deadline. While this season the Ducks will have 16 games after the deadline passes, in years past, he had far fewer games to acclimate himself after deadline deals.
“I know the trade deadline has been moved up, which I think is a good thing,” Schneider told NHL.com. “To have 10 games, 12 games to adjust to a new system, new teammates, it’s very difficult for a player to have an impact that way. It takes more time than that. A lot of times you add a role player, it’s a lot easier than adding a star player that affects a whole team’s lineup. It’s difficult.
“There are a lot of teams that make moves at the deadline and it never pays off. There’s one team that makes moves that can say it really paid off.”
The Ducks are Schneider’s seventh NHL team since he played his first games for Montreal in 1987-88. And while it’s likely he doesn't have to worry about packing his bags prior to the Feb. 26 deadline, Schneider knows anything is possible.
“In the new system … you want to build around your core young players,” the 38-year-old said. “The lineup we have this year isn’t going to be there for a long time, guys like myself, Scotty Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, who knows what’s going to happen in the next year or two.”
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