Ice Hockey - 2003
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mathieu Schneider is the all-time leading Jewish scorer in National Hockey League history. An outstanding all-around defense specialist, he is equally comfortable handling the puck or scoring on the power play. He played for Montreal 1989-1995, New York Islanders 1995-1996, Toronto 1996-1998, New York Rangers, 1998-2000, and Los Angeles Kings, 2000-present.
Schneider won a Stanley Cup with Montreal Canadiens in1993, was an All-Star with the New York Islanders in 1996 and a member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic hockey team.
Mathieu joined the Kings as a free agent and became one of the top scoring defensemen in the NHL. During the summer of 2001, the Kings rewarded him with a new three-year contract.
Schnieder was drafted in 1987 by the Montreal Canadiens with their 4th pick (44th overall). He quickly became Montreal's best defenseman and was a solid presence in front of goaltender Patrick Roy.
The following season, he led the Montreal defense in scoring and had career highs in goals scored (20) and total points (52). That year, he also showed his value on the power play with an outstanding eleven power play goals.
The Canadiens traded Schneider to the New York Islanders in April, 1995, and the following season he was elected to play in the NHL All-Star Game. In 1996, the Islanders traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and that year, he played on the U.S. all-star team that won the World Cup.
In 1998, Mathieu was selected to play on the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Nagano Games (the first time the USA sent professional players to the Olympics).
Mat spent the 1999-2000 season with the New York Rangers. He registered 30 points on 10 goals and 20 assists, ranking him #1 among the team's defensemen. But with a new GM and coach arriving in NY, Mathieu signed with the L.A. Kings as a free agent for the 2000-01 season. Leading the Kings defense, he racked up 51 points on 16 goals and 35 assists.
It would be a storybook post-season that year for the Kings, who finished in seventh place in the NHL's Western Conference, barely making the playoffs. Matched against the first place Detroit Red Wings in the opening round, they upset the highly-favored Wings. In the second round, they faced the favored Colorado Avalanche, eventually going down after extending the eventual champions to a fierce seven game series. Mathieu had nine assists in the playoffs.