Domingue to Vancouver; Vatanen headed to Carolina

The Devils made two late swaps before the 3 PM NHL trade deadline.

The team sent goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for goalie Zane McIntyre.

McIntyre is a 27-year-old, 6-foot, 2-inch 205 pounder with a 3.16 goals against average with the Utica Comets – the Canucks’ AHL affiliate. He is 11-10-2 in the American League right now. He will report to Binghamton as per the press release put out by the Devils.

McIntyre does have NHL experience, appearing in eight games with the Bruins in 2016-17.

Domingue’s tenure between the pipes for the Devils was not stellar. He finished with a 3-8-2 record appearing in 16 games since being acquired from the Lightning earlier in the season. He finished with an .882 save percentage and a 3.79 goals against average with the Devils.

In a separate deal, the Devils sent defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Fredrick Claesson, prospect Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Devils will also retain 50-percent of Vatanen’s salary.

The star of this trade is Kuokkanen, a 21-year-old forward who was picked 43rd overall in the 2016 NHL Draft (second-round). The 6-foot, 1-inch, 195-pound player is currently in the AHL where he was playing for the Charlotte Checkers. There he has 12 goals, 30 assists for 42 points over 52 games.

According to the Devils’ press release, he played in seven games at the NHL level for Carolina in 2018-19 and has appeared in eleven NHL games total.

He is a native of Oulunsalo, Finland and played in Finland for Karpat. He also played a year in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights. He won gold at the 2016 World Junior under-18 tournament and has represented Finland in the 2017 and 2018 World Junior Championships.

Claesson is a 27-year-old defenseman and currently has three goals, 16 assists for a total of 19 points for AHL Charlotte. He has played in 150 NHL regular season games for the Senators and Rangers. His NHL totals read six goals and 20 assists for 26 points.

Vatanen was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season. The conditions on the fourth-round pick have been reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN on Twitter as being based on how much Vatanen plays and if he stays healthy (he is currently on injured reserve). The Devils did not mention the condition in their press release.

Devils Waive Schneider, Recall Domingue

At abound 11 AM this morning, the Devils sent out a tweet that they would place goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers at noon and, should he clear, he would be sent down to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

In addition, the Devils announced that they had recalled Louis Domingue from the Binghamton Devils.

Domingue, according to the Devils’ website, “started four games with Binghamton” this season, going 2-1-1 with a 2.25 goals against and a .914 save percentage.

They touted his 21-5-0 record last season with the far-superior-than-the-Devils Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a 2.88 goals against and a .908 save percentage there.

I only mention that the Lightning are a better team than the Devils, not to demean Domingue in any way, but to put things into context and temper a lot of the Devils’ own hype. He is a good goalie at the NHL level, but Tampa was a juggernaut last year, let’s not forget that.

On the subject of Schneider, head coach John Hynes had this to say, according to an article by Marc Ciampa on “The way the schedule comes now, we didn’t see him getting into a lot of games in the next couple of weeks.”

Ciampa said that, basically, Hynes wants him to get into games. “When a player, particularly a goalie, if you’re not going to have an opportunity to play it’s hard to get the game reps and confidence that you need,” Hynes told Ciampa.

Hynes mentioned to Ciampa about Cory’s stint last year in Binghamton: “We had a similar situation with him last year, he came back and played well for us at the end of the year.”

Hynes cited the World Championships, where Schneider represented the United States and training camp as reasons to believe that Schneider will get things back on track. As he said to Ciampa: “If he does clear waivers and go to Binghamton, it’s not the end of the road for us here.”

Schneider has battled recurring injuries and confidence issues since suffering problems with his hip and knee a while ago.

Hynes told Ciampa that “He had a very good World Championships, I was there with him [Hynes was an assistant coach with Team USA], had a good training camp, good start to the year but unfortunately wasn’t at a level consistent enough to find ways to win games. That’s why we’re going to give him the opportunity to do that and it’s proven in the past that he [sic] has helped him.”

Hopefully Cory gets things sorted out. He is a great guy and a good teammate, someone that you really root for to do well. He has had a rough go of it the last few seasons, whether it’s injuries or just losing confidence in his abilities (where one may lead to another here). It goes even down to suffering the cramps in the season opener this year against Winnipeg when he was playing pretty well. I am sure that most fans are hoping that this is not the end for Cory Schneider in New Jersey.