Toronto Maple Leafs: Remember A Guy Named...?
Remember a guy named Corey Schwab? I certainly do.
This guy was almost booed out of Toronto before he even had a chance to play, with Pat Quinn picking this random unknown over the emerging Mikael Tellqvist at the time.
Before becoming a Maple Leaf, Schwab was once touted as a huge prospect for the new Jersey Devils, but with Martin Brodeur already cemented as the Devils' No. 1 netminder, there wasn't much room for Schwab in New Jersey.
He was traded to Tampa Bay where he had a couple chances to start, but because they were an awful team at the time, he didn't pan out so well and was cast to the minors for a couple years.
After a brief stint in the Vancouver Canucks system, he was given a chance at the Leafs 2001-2002 training camp by Quinn, to fill the backup position while Curtis Joseph got most of the starts, but after Cujo went down with a really bad injury midway through the year, it was Schwab's time to shine.
He started out a little shaky, with a memorable highlight of Schwab coming out of the net to play the puck and then the puck bouncing off the boards into the net, but it got better.
He quickly became a fan favourite because of his solid play along with the fact that before this year, no one knew who he was and randomly came out of nowhere to steal the hearts of Toronto fans everywhere.
He ended that season with a 12-10-5 record with a 2.73 GAA and a .894 save percentage, but more importantly, he ended the season with the respect of the NHL and fans alike.
For some reason the Leafs didn't re-sign him during the off-season, so he was brought back by the Devils, once again showing the great management skills of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The next year he only played 11 games behind Brodeur. However, in those 11 games he got an impressive 5-3-1 record with a 1.47 GAA and .933 save percentage.
That season had the last two moments I can remember about Schwab.
The first, coming when he played the Maple Leafs for the first time and shut them out with a 2-0 score. He was phenomenal in that game.
The second and most memorable moment was when at the end of the year, the Devils won the cup and after all the stars have had there moment with the cup, they handed it to Schwab. I felt so great knowing that a former Leaf and player that I truly admired for his perseverance, finally got rewarded with his name etched for all of time on the holy grail of hockey, the Stanley Cup.
After that season, not much was heard of Schwab. After three games with the Devils, he retired, taking up goalie coaching with the team he played the most with, the Tampa Bay Lightning, most recently last season.
Next week, I will be bringing another installment of Remember A Guy Named.....?
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