The Vancouver Canucks have waived 40-year old veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider today in what could be his last stop in the NHL. Over the summer, Schneider signed a one-year deal worth $1.55 million after bouncing around between stops in Atlanta, Montreal, Anaheim, and Detroit in the past several seasons.
In 17 games this season, Schneider has two goals and three assists. At the end of September, Schneider underwent shoulder surgery that sidelined him for 10 games. This past week, Schneider took an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons. Many felt it was time spent contemplating retirement.
Schneider, a New York City native, played for the Rangers from 1998 - 2000 playing in 155 games scoring 20 goals and 44 assists. Since leaving, he has made it no secret that he would like to return to New York at some point in his career.
The Rangers are seeking a veteran presence defensively and this may be a viable option, though his $1.55 million is a little bit to bear. He still has the ability to play in limited minutes and on the power play and would definitely be a good influence on Mike Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy.
The placement of Schneider on waivers is a little curious from a Rangers perspective in terms of timing. With Vinny Prospal out 2 - 3 weeks, he can be placed on injured reserved and his salary doesn't count against the cap. For the time being, the team has announced that nobody will be summoned from Hartford, so no more salaries will be taken on.
Theoretically, the team could take on Schneider's pro-rated salary without any additional transactions.
Upon Prospal's return, to accomodate Schneider on the salary cap, the Rangers would have to demote or waive either Erik Christensen, Aaron Voros, or Donald Brashear.
The waiver expires tomorrow at noon where, if he goes unclaimed, he may be sent to the AHL.