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Devils acquire G Schneider from Canucks

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Devils have acquired goalie Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks for the ninth pick in the NHL draft.

The Canucks selected center Bo Horvat on Sunday at the Prudential Center.

Schneider seems in line to be the eventual successor to Martin Brodeur in net. Schneider was on the market once the Canucks were unable to dump high-priced goalie Roberto Luongo.

Brodeur and Johan Hedberg were the oldest goalie tandem in the league last season. Schneider can now be groomed to take over for Brodeur, 41, one of the NHL's all-time great goalies.

Brodeur, a rookie in 1994, has only ever played for New Jersey, and has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles.

Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis has been wrestling with a tough goaltender situation for some time. Both Schneider and Luongo have the skill-sets to be full-time NHL starters, and have been so over their careers. But as the team moves forward into a new era with new coach John Tortorella behind the bench, it was Schneider who was moved out.

``Today's decision was made after a thorough review of our options,'' Gillis said, ``and in the interest of improving this team long-term through the draft and development of players. We appreciate the high level of professionalism and conduct both Cory and Roberto have shown while continuing to help this team be competitive.

``I would like to personally thank Cory for his contributions to our team and wish him the very best and a bright future.''

Schneider is only 27, and fits right into New Jersey's long-term plans. He has two years left on a contract that counts $4 million against the salary cap.

The Devils, a year after winning the Eastern Conference, did not make the postseason this year. The Canucks lost in the first round.

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