COLUMBUS, OHIO – American pride is alive and well on Cory Schneider’s shins.
One of three Team USA goaltenders battling for the starter’s role in the World Cup of Hockey, Schneider will have a leg up on compatriots Jonathan Quick and Ben Bishop if sartorial flare factors into coach John Tortorella’s decision-making (it doesn’t).
Hailing from Marblehead, Mass.—birthplace of the American Navy—the New Jersey Devils star approached equipment maker Vaughn with the concept of American flag pads after being named to the senior men’s national team for the first time since 2007.
He unveiled those patriotic bad boys Monday at Nationwide Arena.
“I had this idea, and Vaughn helped me out with it. I sort of mentioned, ‘How about this?’ They said, ‘That’s great. Let us mock it up for you.’ And it looked awesome. They did a great job executing it,” Schneider tells us.
“I just thought, have a little fun. I may never get to play in one of these again, so why not do something creative?”
Schneider also leaned on Vaughn last winter to produce a fun set of custom honky-tonk pads when he was selected to the All-Star Game in Nashville.
For his red-white-and-blue pillows, Schneider asked the company’s designers just to make them look good and even out the number of stars, but Vaughn was adamant about making sure there was a star for every state.
“They wanted to get all 50 on there, so it’s 25 per pad,” Schneider says. “They were very keen on that, and I’m glad they insisted—makes them more authentic.”
Think they look fresh now? Wait till Schneider busts out a two-pad stack to stymie Sidney Crosby on a breakaway.
“We’ll see,” he chuckles. “I don’t know if I have that in my bag, but maybe.”