As you know, I was fortunate enough to cover some NHL games out west for features you’ve seen and will continue to see on ECHL.com throughout the season. One of those stops was in San Jose to speak with Stanley Cup winning goalie and current Sharks goaltending development coach Corey Schwab, who hoisted the Cup with New Jersey in 2003.
Schwab and Trenton Devils head coach Kevin Dean were teammates in the ECHL, AHL and NHL, and I couldn’t let Schwab get away without asking him for his recollections of playing with Dean. Dean, as you may know, was the first ECHL player to have his name engraved onto the Stanley Cup. Here’s what Schwab had to say about his old teammate:
“Number one, Kevin was a great teammate and a great person. I think a lot of the guys that came through the New Jersey organization were those type of guys. He had to work hard for everything he got. He made a great career out of it. He probably spent more time that first year in the ECHL than I did. He ended up in ’95 being the only guy that got a ring from the Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup. He was the captain in Albany and then he got an opportunity to play (in the NHL). He had played some games throughout the year, but he got an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. For an organization to be able to win at both levels in the same year doesn’t happen very often, same with a guy to get a ring from both teams as well.”
“He’s still a good friend. It’s funny, when your experiences with guys are at different levels of the game, you appreciate it once you get to the NHL. You can laugh and joke about it — while we were back here then and so on. But really, you have to be willing to put in a lot of time and effort. You’re trying to get yourself better each and every day and if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to do it. Kevin was one of those guys. He didn’t do one thing better than everyone else, but he was able to do everything collectively good. He had a good career because of it.”
For Dean’s comments on Schwab, as well as the story on Schwab that also includes comments from another Stanley Cup winning goaltender in Antti Niemi, be sure to check ECHL.com in the coming days.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com