Monday, September 06, 2010

Absurd Goalie Monday: Corey Schwab

With news this week of a signing, this week's AGM will have a lot to do in order to make sure that said signing can live up to the hype he got. Granted, for this AGM, he's got titles in the top-two North American hockey leagues and knows how be at the top of his game; but also knows how to bounce back from a less than desired result. This week, we'll key in on the career of Corey Schwab.

Schwab's career started with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL in the 1988-89 season. As a rookie, Schwab had to play behind workhorse Danny Lorenz and saw Schwab get 10 games (mostly in relief) in with a 2-2-0 record. Schwab was able to get some more time for his draft year in the 1989-90 season and saw 27 gamed with a 15-2-1 record, which could have been a sign of things to come. However, Schwab was in a talent-rich draft year, which saw him go in the 10th round of the Draft to the New Jersey Devils; who drafted a young Martin Brodeur in the first round the same year. Schwab didn't disappoint in the 1990-91 season, where he was able to get some time as a starter, playing 58 games, going 32-18-3; but he went 1-5 in his six playoff appearances.

In the 1991-92 season, Schwab went pro, playing with the Utica Devils to start off with, fighting for time with Doug Dadswell and Chad Erickson. Schwab went 9-12-1 while in Utica and would be sent to the IHL's Cincinnati Cyclones for eight regular season games (6-0-1) and nine playoff games (6-3). Schwab started in Cincinnati to kick off the 1992-93 season, playing three games (1-2-0) before being called up to Utica. In Utica, Schwab teams with Brodeur, but got the bulk of the workload, playing 40 games; going 18-16-5 for the year. The Devils moved affiliates to Albany with the River Rats, to which Schwab played the 1993-94 season. He would get 51 games, going 27-21-3, but only went 1-4 in the five playoff games he played. For the 1994-95 season, Schwab teamed up with rookie Mike Dunham and would take the AHL by storm. Schwab played 45 regular season games and went 25-10-9 and went 6-1 in seven playoff games, helping lead the River Rats to the Calder Cup. Schwab and Dunham won the Jack Butterfield Trophy for co-playoff MVPs, as well as the Hap Holmes Trophy for fewest goals-against, and was named to the second All-Star team.

The 1995-96 season had Schwab start off with a groin injury, but then played five games (3-2-0) in Albany, before getting called up to be the back-up to Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. Schwab got 10 games in (mostly relief), going 0-3-0. It seemed like that performance wasn't enough, as Schwab was dealt in the summer of 1996 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for former AGM Jeff Reese and two draft picks in the 1996 Draft.

Schwab was in the right place at the right time, as another former AGM, Daren Puppa, was out with an injury and yet another former AGM, Rick Tabaracci, was the starter. Schwab was able to get some back-up time, playing in 31 games and going 11-12-1 in his tenure on a mediorce Lightning team. Puppa came back from injury and was dueling with Schwab for playing time in the 1997-98 season. However, on December 31, 1997; Schwab broke his ankle and put him out for the season, playing in only 16 games with a 2-9-1 record. Fully recover for the 1998-99 campaign, started off with the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL, going 1-6-1 in eight games. Schwab got called-up to Tampa and pulled platoon duty with Puppa and then Bill Ranford. Schwab got 40 games in and had a record of 8-25-3 record on a dismal Bolts team.

Schwab got a bit of a reprieve as he was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 Expansion Draft, but would only spend 16 games (9-4-2) with their IHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a draft pick. Schwab played six games, going 2-1-1 for the Canucks, but spent most of the 1999-2000 season with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. With the Crunch, Schwab had a 7-5-0 record in 12 games. Schwab would spend the 2000-01 season with the Canucks IHL affiliate, Kansas City Blades. As the starter, Schwab played 50 games with a 22-24-1 record.

After signing with Toronto for the 2001-02 season, Schwab was to back-up Curtis Joseph, but got a fair amount of time in. Playing 30 games, Schwab went 12-10-5. Though some wanted him back as a sturdy back-up, the Leafs allowed him to walk.

The Devils got back Schwab by free agency and he saw very limited time in the 2002-03 season behind Brodeur. With only 11 games to his name, Schwab went 5-3-1 with a solid 1.47 GAA and .933 save percentage for the trap-happy Devils. Schwab was able to get two playoff games in, both in relief of Brodeur and one in the Cup Finals, as the Devils won the Stanley Cup and got Schwab a ring for his troubles. It was good, because the 2003-04 season was not kind to Schwab. He was only able to play in three games (2-0-1) due to a groin injury that saw him miss 55 games that season. After the 2004-05 lockout, Schwab retired from hockey.

Schwab has stayed in the NHL in a coaching role, first with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2005 until 2008 and now with the San Jose Sharks, where he will be the goalie coach to two new acquisitions-- Antero Niittymaki and most recently, Antii Niemi.

During his career, Schwab had a lot more downs than ups, but was able to do his best when dealing with goaltending carousels and other guys trying to pick up his spot. Of course, he also had to deal with many injuries and sub-par teams. Even so, he does have two championships to his name, which has to count for something.

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