Cory Schneider Named to Team USA at World Cup of Hockey

For the first time in his professional career, Cory Schneider will get to represent his country in a major international tournament. He has been named to the initial 16-man roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The tournament, which will feature the top six hockey-playing nations as well as a North American Under-23 team and an “all-star” team of Europeans from countries not represented in the tournament.

Cory will be joined in net by Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick and Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.

The defense for Team USA will feature Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, Colonia, New Jersey-raised John Carlson of the Washington Capitals (New Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames also made Team North America’s initial roster of 16), Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild.

Up front, the US will boast Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks, TJ Oshie of the Capitals, Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens, former-Devil captain Zach Parise of the Wild, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks, Derek Stepan of the Rangers and Blake Wheeler of the Jets.

In addition to Cory making the squad, Devils’ head coach John Hynes will serve as an assistant on Team USA coach John Tortorella’s staff.

This will be the first time the tournament has been held in ten years. The US won the initial World Cup of Hockey back in 1996, defeating the Canadians on home ice (the final game was played in Montreal’s Molson Centre). Team USA has struggled at recent Olympics and other best-on-best international tournaments.

Cory will be the only player that the Devils are sending to the tournament as of right now, but he thoroughly earned the spot. Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who is serving in the same position for Team USA, could not have made a better choice as Schneider has emerged as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders. Cory is not an automatic to get the bulk of the playing time, as that will be decided in training camp closer to the September start of the tournament. He will face good competition from Quick and Bishop, both excellent goalies (and proven winners – as evidenced by Quick’s two Stanley Cups and Bishop’s appearance in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals) in the NHL.

While this is a huge honor for Schneider and extremely well-deserved, Devils fans will be holding their breath whenever he is in net, hoping he does not get hurt. On the plus side, though, by playing in meaningful games sooner, he should be ready to go once the NHL season kicks off in October.

The World Cup of Hockey 2016 will be played in Toronto from September 17 to October 1, 2016, with all games taking place at the Air Canada Centre. It is a joint effort by the NHL, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation. It will feature teams from Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic as well as the Team North America Under-23 Team and Team Europe.

Congratulations to Cory Schneider on this great honor!

John Hynes Named to Team USA Coaching Staff for World Cup of Hockey

Devils coach John Hynes has been named as an assistant on John Tortorella’s staff at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey coming this September.

The Warwick, Rhode Island native joins Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, Predators assistant (recent Hall of Famer and former Devils defenseman) Phil Housley, Islanders coach Jack Capuano and Scott Gordon on Team USA’s coaching staff.

The first year Devils bench boss has had them contending for a playoff spot despite predictions that this was a rebuilding year for the franchise and still has them in the mix despite a depleted roster due to injuries and suspensions.

His previous international coaching experience includes six seasons as head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. He also coached the US to three medals at the IIHF Men’s World Under-18 Championship according to the press release on the Devils official website. He won gold in 2006, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008. He also served as an assistant on the staff for the first US team to win gold at the World Junior Championship (2004).

Coach Hynes certainly has the international coaching experience and his time in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and at the NHL level with the Devils gives him even more knowledge on how to deal with players of all levels.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be played in Toronto from September 17 to October 1 at the Air Canada Centre and will feature teams from USA, Canada, the Czech Republic, Europe, Finland, North America, Russia and Sweden according to the press release. Team USA’s general manager is LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi. The head coach is Columbus coach John Tortorella.

Some might see this as a weird choice, being that Hynes is a rookie NHL coach. However, when you take into consideration his service to American hockey at the international level previous, it makes sense. As Devils fans, we see Hynes coaching each night and the man knows what he is doing, so while not an obvious choice, he is a good one.

Congratulations to coach Hynes on this honor.