Mathieu Schneider (born June 12, 1969) is an American former professional ice hockey player. Considered an offensive defenseman, Schneider played 1289 games in the National Hockey League with ten different teams, scoring 233 goals and totalling 743 points. He won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens.
Schneider, who is Jewish, was born in Manhattan, New York, the first of two sons born to Sam and Aline Schneider. His father is Jewish and his mother, a French-Canadian from Thetford Mines, Quebec, converted to Judaism before marrying his father. He lived with his family in West New York, New Jersey until moving to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, for his high school years. In Woonsocket, Schneider attended high school at Mount Saint Charles Academy. Under the tutelage of coach Normand "Bill" Belisle, Schneider and his team won three of the school's 26 straight Rhode Island state hockey championships. He left Mount Saint Charles after his junior year and joined the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League.
Drafted in the third round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, 44th overall, by the Montreal Canadiens, Schneider was the Canadiens' fourth pick (after forwards Andrew Cassels and John LeClair, and fellow defenseman Éric Desjardins). He played his first NHL game a few months later when he suited up on 1987–88 opening night against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, after four games, he was sent back to his junior team (Cornwall Royals) for the rest of the season. He would spend the entirety of 1988–89 with Cornwall before splitting the next season between Montreal and their American Hockey League farm team, the Sherbrooke Canadiens. After being promoted to the Canadiens, he scored seven goals and 21 points in 44 games with Montreal. Schneider earned a full-time NHL roster spot in the 1990–91 season and, two years later, he won the 1993 Stanley Cup with the Canadiens, defeating Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings in five games. Following his Stanley Cup victory, Schneider broke out with 52 points in 1993–94, topping all team defencemen. During the 1994–95 season, Schneider was traded to the New York Islanders finishing the season with 29 points in 43 games between the two clubs. In 1995–96, he recorded 47 points in 65 games with the Islanders and appeared in his first NHL All-Star Game (1996), before being traded in March 1996 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for three players and a first-round selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft (eventually Roberto Luongo). He finished the year with 54 points in 78 games between the two clubs.
Prior to the 1996–97 season, Schneider was a member of the 1996 World Cup champion Team USA squad. It was his high point for the season as he suffered a serious groin injury and was lost for the majority of the season, playing only 26 games. He returned to the Leafs from his injury the following season and tallied 37 points in 76 games. He was a contract hold-out as a restricted free agent prior to the 1998–99 season, reportedly seeking a $3.3 million salary with the Maple Leafs. Consequently, a few games into the season, the Maple Leafs traded him to the New York Rangers where he then signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract. Born in Manhattan, Schneider stated his excitement to be playing for his hometown team. In two seasons with the Rangers he accumulated 34, then 30 points.
Schneider was left unprotected in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft and he was chosen by the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, he was never signed by the Blue Jackets and, less than a month later, Schneider signed with the Los Angeles Kings. In his first season with the Kings, Schneider tallied 51 points in 73 games, his highest total since his 52-point season with the Canadiens in 1993–94. As the Kings played into the second round of the 2001 playoffs, Schneider matched a career-high 9 points in 13 playoff games.
After appearing in his second All-Star Game in 2003, Schneider was dealt at the trade deadline to the Detroit Red Wings for two players and two draft picks. The Kings had shopped Schneider around as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. With the development of offensive-minded defencemen Joe Corvo and Lubomir Visnovsky, Schneider was considered replaceable by the Kings. Although the Red Wings had traded for Schneider as a rental player to bolster their Stanley Cup run, they were upset in the first round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Schneider finished the season with 16 goals and 50 points between the Kings and Red Wings.
Schneider was re-signed by Detroit in the off-season to a two-year deal and he eventually played another three seasons with the Red Wings that included a career-high 21 goals and 59 points in 2005–06. He played his 1,000th NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks on October 21 of that same season and scored his 200th NHL goal on March 6, 2007, against the Nashville Predators.
Following the 2006–07 season, Schneider became an unrestricted free agent and he signed a two-year, $11.25 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks had pursued Schneider in lieu of Norris Trophy-winner and team captain Scott Niedermayer's expected retirement (although Niedermayer returned to the Ducks later in the season). By signing with the Ducks, he missed a chance for another Stanley Cup, arriving in Anaheim the same year that Detroit won the 2008 Stanley Cup championship and a year after the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup victory. Schneider did not debut with the Ducks until a couple months into the season, as he sustained a broken ankle in a pre-season game against the Los Angeles Kings. In his only season with the Ducks, he tallied 39 points in 65 games, second among Ducks' defensemen.
As the 2008–09 season approached, the Ducks looked to free up cap space in order to re-sign Teemu Selänne. With All-Star defencemen Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer ahead of him on the depth chart, Schneider was placed on waivers, but cleared. The Ducks instead traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers on September 26, 2008, in exchange for three players. However, Schneider did not remain with the Thrashers for the whole season. He was traded back to the Montreal Canadiens in February 2009 for two draft choices.
On August 28, 2009, the Vancouver Canucks signed Schneider to a one-year, $1.55 million contract. The deal included a $1 million signing bonus (making his base salary $550,000), dispersed throughout the season over four equal payments. After having undergone off-season shoulder surgery, Schneider missed the first 10 games of the 2009–10 season and made his Canucks debut on October 25 in a 2–0 win against the Edmonton Oilers. He was playing primarily as a depth defenceman and on December 20, he left the team due to a reported dispute about his playing time. Following his debut for the Canucks, he was a healthy scratch 11 times in 28 games. The Canucks explained his absence as a "personal matter", while general manager Mike Gillis reportedly tried to trade Schneider.
On December 29, 2009, Schneider was waived by the Vancouver Canucks. After clearing waivers, he reported to the Canucks' AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose on January 2, 2010. On March 3, 2010, Schneider was traded from the Vancouver Canucks to the Phoenix Coyotes for Sean Zimmerman and a 6th round draft pick. At the end of 2010, Schneider officially ended his career as a player.
Shortly after announcing his retirement, Schneider became involved with the National Hockey League Players' Association as a special assistant. His first significant project with the NHLPA has been adjustments to the head-shot and boarding rules, alongside Brendan Shanahan.
Schneider first played for the United States in the 1988 World Junior Championships, tallying 2 assists as the U.S. finished in sixth place. He made his senior international debut at the 1996 World Cup, where the U.S. won the tournament in a three-game final over Canada. Schneider scored 2 goals in 7 games.
Two years later, in 1998, he was selected to join the U.S. team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. He failed to register a point as the U.S. finished a disappointing sixth. A serious groin/abdominal injury kept Schneider from consideration for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and, although he was chosen to his second World Cup tournament in 2004, he pulled out of the games due to a lack of insurance (he was not signed to an NHL team that summer).
In December 2005, he was selected to represent the U.S. at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Despite a two-point performance from Schneider in the quarter-finals, the U.S. was eliminated by Finland.
During his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings, the Schneider Family resided in Manhattan Beach, California. Mathieu is married to Shannon Schneider and has four kids Mathieu Jr., Abigail, Micah, and Ella. Schneider was one of a handful Jewish players in the NHL.
- Member of one Stanley Cup winning team: 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens
- Selected to two NHL All-Star Games: 1996, 2003
- Won the World Cup with Team USA in 1996
- Inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2014
|1994–95||New York Islanders||NHL||13||3||5||8||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||New York Islanders||NHL||65||11||36||47||93||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||13||2||5||7||10||6||0||4||4||8|
|1996–97||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||26||5||7||12||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997–98||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||76||11||26||37||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||New York Rangers||NHL||75||10||24||34||71||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||New York Rangers||NHL||80||10||20||30||78||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||73||16||35||51||56||13||0||9||9||10|
|2001–02||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||55||7||23||30||68||7||0||1||1||18|
|2002–03||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||65||14||29||43||57||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||13||2||5||7||16||4||0||0||0||6|
|2003–04||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||78||14||32||46||56||12||1||2||3||8|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||72||21||38||59||86||6||1||7||8||6|
|2006–07||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||68||11||41||52||66||11||2||4||6||16|
- 1987 NHL Entry Draft – Selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round, 44th overall.
- April 5, 1995 – Traded by the Montreal Canadiens, along with Kirk Muller and Craig Darby, to the New York Islanders in exchange for Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov.
- March 13, 1996 – Traded by the New York Islanders, along with Wendel Clark and D.J. Smith, to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jönsson and Toronto's first-round draft choice (Roberto Luongo) in 1997.
- October 14, 1998 – Rights traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the New York Rangers in exchange for Alexander Karpovtsev and New York's fourth-round draft choice in 1999; signs one-year, $2.75 million contract with the New York Rangers.
- June 23, 2000 – Claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets from the New York Rangers in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft.
- August 14, 2000 – Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings.
- March 11, 2003 – Traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Sean Avery, Maxim Kuznetsov, Detroit's 2003 first-round draft choice and Detroit's 2004 second-round draft choice.
- July 1, 2007 – Signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Ducks to a two-year, $11.25 million contract.
- September 26, 2008 – Traded by the Anaheim Ducks to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Ken Klee, Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud.
- February 16, 2009 – Traded by the Atlanta Thrashers to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Montreal's second-round draft choice in 2009 and third-round draft choice in 2010.
- August 28, 2009 – Signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
- March 3, 2010 – Traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for Sean Zimmerman and a conditional sixth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft
- "Jews (and Mel) on the big screen, He played at Brick Hockey Club Winter sports roundup". Jweekly.com. January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
- "Mathieu Schneider". Jewish Virtual Library. 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- "Players: Mathieu Schneider". NHL.com. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Popper, Steve (October 15, 1998). "Schneider's wish is granted, a trade to the Rangers". New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Blue Jackets, Wild stock rosters, deal". USA Today. June 24, 2000. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Mathieu joins Kings". New York Daily News. August 14, 2000. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Red Wings acquire Schneider from Kings". USA Today. March 11, 2003. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Schneider re-signs". Providence Journal. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Babcock beats former team as Red Wings nip Ducks". ESPN. October 21, 2005. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Schneider signs with Ducks, Niedermayer to retire?". CBC. July 1, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Scott Niedermayer returns to Ducks". CBC. December 5, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Ducks' Schneider sustains broken ankle". CBC. September 16, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "2007–08 Anaheim Ducks (NHL)". HockeyDb.com. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Schneider clears waivers, Burke responds". Anaheim Ducks. September 17, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Thrashers acquire Schneider from Ducks". National Hockey League. September 27, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2008.[dead link]
- "Former Canuck Mathieu Schneider heeds Moose call just in time to collect $250,000". Vancouver Sun. January 4, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- "No pain, no gain: Injured Canucks find a way to win". Globe and Mail. October 26, 2009. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
- "Canucks look to deal Mathieu Schneider to resolve playing time issue". The Province. December 28, 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
- "Canucks place veteran D Schneider on waivers". The Sports Network.
- "NHL vet sent down to Moose". Winnipeg Free Press. 2010-01-03. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- "Retired defenceman Mathieu Schneider joins NHL Players' Association". Canadian Press. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "Tweaked Rule 48 closer to passing". ESPN. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "U.S. men fall to Finland". Sporting News. February 22, 2006. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- Wills, Adam (March 22, 2001). "The Jewish King". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- "Canadiens acquire veteran blueliner Schneider from Thrashers". Vancouver Sun. February 16, 2009.
- Career statistics and player information from ESPN.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Mathieu Schneider at The Jewish Virtual Library
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