1998-1999 season notes

April 19, 1999

And so the season is over. Mathieu will miss the playoffs for a third straight year. So I doubt there will be much news for awhile. But he does become a free agent again this summer, so I'll keep up on that. Other than that, have a nice summer Mathieu!

April 18, 1999

Mathieu has assured himself a place in history tonight in the 2-1 overtime lose to Pittsburgh in the last game of the season. He assisted with Wayne Gretzky on Brian Leetch's power play goal at 19:30 of the second period; it was the last point of Gretzky's career. During the post-game ceremonies Mathieu looked pretty emotional, wiping his eyes a few times. One time he went over to Wayne leaning on the bench and ruffled his hair and gave him a reassuring pat on the back. I am sure he will never forget that day! I doubt I ever really will.

April 15, 1999

Because I think it is important to the sport of hockey, I am about to beat a dead horse, so I apologize in advance. Here we go.... In what was Wayne Gretzky's last game in Canada, the Rangers tie two penalties. A high-sticking at 18:55 of the secnd period amd also a 5 minute major for fighting! Yes, Mathieu Schneider got a fighting (the last one I remember was aginst Michal Pivonka in 1994 or 1995). With only 11 seconds left in the third period, he took a solid punch from the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson and didn't take too kindly to that. He pushed back and then dropped his sticks and gloves and wailed away on Alfredsson. Alfredsson never really dropped his gloves, and he only got a two minute penalty for roughing whereas Mathieu got the five minutes and a game misconduct. He ended the game with 17 penalty minutes!!! You can never really know anyone's true motivation for anything, but I'll take a stab at saying that the reasons he got so nasty in that incident was because of the season's outcome. He is frustrated with the team and himself, I'm sure, and disappointed it is going to end the way it will.

After the game, there was a short interview of some Ranger players about Gretzky's retirement and they spoke with Mathieu. He was showered and dressed in a very nice black suit, with a crisp white shirt (I couldn't really see his tie). As for the important stuff, the content of what he said, he basically said that it has been great playing with Gretzky all year and that he has shown remarkable composure until this point. Very nice, Mathieu. It's nice to see how he appreciates how lucky he is to have played with the greatest player in hockey.

April 12, 1999

In what Tampa Bay goalie Corey Schwab called "a boring game," Mathieu faired pretty well in the Rangers 2-1 win over the Lightning in New York. The worst moment of the game came during a first period power play when Mathieu's slap shot was blocked and taken control by Mike Sillinger, who then score a short-handed goal. After that miscue, Mathieu went on to score the game tying goal from Chris Tamer and Niklas Sundstrom at 10:21 of the second period. It was a beautiful slap shot that slipped past two sprawling Tampa Bay defensemen and a jumping Adam Graves to sneak through Schwab's five hole). And then he and Wayne Gretzky assisted on John MacLean's game power play winning goal at 11:31 of the third period.

April 9, 1999

The season just can't end fast enough. The Rangers lose again, 3-1 to the Dallas Stars. The game was uneventful for Mathieu, other than finishing a -1.

April 8, 1999

Déjà Vu! I remember asking not too long ago how someone can end a game at a -4. Mathieu did it again in the horrible 6-2 loss in Chicago to the Blackhawks. The whole game wasn't all bad, because he did have a point. He assisted with Adam Graves on John MacLean's power play goal at 19:31 of the first period for New York's first goal of the game. I believe the Rangers are officially out of the playoff picture now, although they have been out of it for some time now.

April 5, 1999 (I'm back from vacation!!)

The Rangers stayed alive tonight with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Mathieu scored his ninth goal of the year, from Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Stevens at 10:14 of the second period, to make the score 3-0. A little later, at 17:53 of the second, he got a coincidental roughing penalty with Daymond Langkow. He ended the game as a +3.

And now for a bit of commentary: Despite the Rangers bad season, Mathieu has played quite well. His play and the fact that he is the best power play point man they have had in a long time would make him a player the Rangers would really like to re-sign this summer. But he is not the most liked by his coach, John Muckler. He had this to say about Mathieu: "He's had his moments. He's a skilled player. He's a very good player, better than your average player. Sometimes he has that problem of maintaining that intensity at that level for a long period of time. It's a question of wanting to do it, of coming to the rink every night wanting to play." As if any of the Rangers have played consistently? With the exception of Adam Graves, and maybe Brian Leetch, the Rangers as a whole have not been the definition of intensity. John Muckler hasn't exactly helped in that department, and, although I am not a person quick to blame coaches for team failings, management may look to a new coach before they look to finding another talented point man.

March 26, 1999

After the trade deadline the Rangers can look forward to resigning free agents this summer. Mathieu will become a restricted free agent, and is said to be looking for about $3 million a season. This is what The Sporting News had to say: "Smith had better make sure he signs Leetch, of course, but also Schneider. He may not be Muckler's favorite, but he's the best point man they have had since Sergei Zubov was traded. [Kevin] Hatcher [who the Rangers tried unsuccessfully to trade for] certainly is not the answer."

* * * *
In a surprise performance, Mathieu was featured on NHL Cool Shots, a NHL TV show, this week. Although the show took place in Vancouver this week, a special feature was about some kids from Roger Neilson's hockey camps in Israel who got a chance to come to a camp in New York City. They were treated to a Ranger game and a tour of the locker room. And then they got to meet Mathieu. He just said that he was fortunate to play in great hockey cities with large Jewish communities and has always gotten support. He recognizes that he is a role-model and said it was exciting to see the kids and the National Hockey Team of Israel. And allow me to be girlie for a minute and say I liked his suit. He is not always known for his fashion sense (see what I mean?), but his black suit, blue shirt and red and yellow tie with small checks looked very nice. And I greatly approve of his new clean-cut haircut. Beauty!

March 24, 1999

A little redemtion tonight for Mathieu. The Rangers beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 tonight in Florida. He got an assist with Petr Nedved on Adam Graves first period goal at 6:37. He finished the game as a +1, and had a hooking penalty at 1:02 of the second period on which the Panthers did not convert.

March 22, 1999

Holy expletive! How does one end a game with a -4? Come on Mathieu, what is going on? That looming 12:00 PST trade deadline must be distracting.

March 21, 1999

The Rangers needed a win, but settled for a tie tonight against the Pittsburgh Jaromir Jagrs, opps, I mean the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mathieu had an assist with Brian Leetch on Petr Nedved's power play goal only 15 seconds into the second period. He finished the game a -1.

March 19, 1999

What an odd game! The Rangers lose 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres in OT. Mathieu started the game by getting his eighth goal of the year on a power play from Adam Graves and Brian Leetch at 12:47 of the first period. A few minutes later, at 15:13, he got a roughing penalty with Mike Peca. The second period brought him an assist with Brian Leetch on Petr Nedved's power play goal at 5:44. But after his great play in the game, he took a slashing penalty with three seconds to go in a tied game- Miroslav Satan scored on the power play in overtime. He ended the game even, and probably really embarrassed.

March 15, 1999

It's hard to be upset with the way the game went tonight. The Rangers tied the Washington Capitals 1-1 after a late third period goal. Mathieu was on the ice for that goal, but it was scored by Enrico Ciccone (who is probably my second favorite player). Also in the game, Mathieu picked up yet another penalty: Interference at 5:57 of the second period.

March 12, 1999

It was a must win game, but the Rangers lost, 5-4 to the Boston Bruins. Mathieu had a high-sticking penalty at 12:32 of the first period (on which the Bruins did not convert), and an assist on John MacLean's go ahead goal at 11:28 of the third period. He finshied the game even and with four shots on goal.

March 8, 1999

What got into these Rangers? Their unbeaten streak continues with an 3-2 overtime over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mathieu didn't do much against his old team tonight; he was a -1 with no points. He did get a tripping penalty at 17:28 of the first period, on which the Leafs did not convert. He has at least one penalty in each of the last five games, for a total of 14 minutes in five games. There goes the Lady Byng!

March 7, 1999

The unbeaten streak continues, with Mathieu's help, as the Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 3-1. He assisted on John MacLean's goal, the first of the game, at 4:32 of the second period. He also got 2 penalties: interference at 6:55, and hooking at 17:59, both in the second period. The Bruins did not convert on either power play. Mathieu was also a +2.

March 4, 1999

The Rangers win 4-3 over the Capitals tonight after getting 3 goals in only five minutes during the third period. In the game, Mathieu was a +1, and got a penalty in the second period for boarding. Washington's Sergei Gonchar scored just 16 seconds into the power play, for the first goal of the game.

March 2, 1999

Although the Rangers and Dallas Stars tied 2-2, Mathieu had a lousy night. He was a -2, and was called for Obstruction- Holding the Stick, at 4:52 of the second period.

February 28, 1999

I'd like to know the bee that got in Mathieu's bonnet tonight against the Flyers. He had two penalties for a total of four minutes; both were coincidental roughing penalties. The first came 12:56 of the first period with Andrei Kovalenko. The second came at 14:24 of the third period with Keith Jones.

February 21, 1999

Mathieu was a +1 in tonight's OT win over the Edmonton Oilers. Although he had no points, he was on the ice for the game tying goal.

February 17, 1999

He always likes playing his old teams, but tonight he wasn't very successful as the Rangers lost 6-3 to Montreal. Mathieu was a -2, but did get an assist with Brian Leetch on Mike Knuble's power play goal at 10:51 of the third period.

February 15, 1999

The Rangers snap the losing streak with a 7-4 win over Nashville. Mathieu recorded a power play goal at 16:47 of the third period from Brian Leetch and Wayne Gretzky, for his seventh goal of the season, and the Rangers' seventh of the game. He also had an assist (along with Marc Savard) on Brent Fedyk's goal at 7:38 of the first period.

February 14, 1999

Valentine's Day, and another Ranger's loss. Mathieu did, however, get an assist on Brent Fedyk's third goal of the year at 4:30 of the third period. He was a -1.

February 12, 1999

The Rangers and slumping and when they slump, nothing can go right. Tonight, Mathieu was a -2, and one of Carolina's goals went into the net off of him.
By the way, The Sporting News team report this week putforth the following: "Three of Mathieu Schneider's six goals and nine of his 13 assists have come on the power play. So why does it take 1:30 for him to get on the ice during the man advantage?" Good question! I have been asking tht for sometime. The report continued: "The Rangers traded Alexander Karpovtsev for Schneider primarily to boost the power play, yet he has been consistently underused. Neither Brian Leetch nor Nedved like to fire away from the blue line; only Schneider does that consistently and with positive results. Either he scores or generates a dangerous rebound." Good point! I have been saying that for a long time. I hope the team finally realizes that and uses Mathieu the way he should be used, for the good of the team and the good of Mathieu as a player.

February 7, 1999

The Rangers lost tonight, 3-2 to the Boston Bruins, but not because of a lousy effort by Mathieu. He barely missed tying the game late when his rocket shot hit the post. He was very involved in the game, picking up a holding penalty at 13:47 of the second period and a cross-checking at 11:19 of the third. The Bruins did not convert on either two minute power plays.

January 28, 1999

Second goal in as many games. He scored a power play goal at 14:49 of the third, assisted by Marc Savard and Brian Leetch, to tie the game and send it to overtime. Carolina scored in OT to win it. Mathieu also picked up a two minute penalty for interference, just seconds before the end of the second period. Carolina did not convert on the power play.

January 26, 1999

Goal number 100 of Mathieu's career was scored tonight as the game winner!! Mathieu broke the 1-1 tie tonight against Washington just 1:37 into the second period (assisted by Wayne Gretzky), and the Rangers went on to win 4-1. Gretzky bounced a soft shot off of Olaf Kolzig and the rebound came right to Mathieu at the right face-off circle. He one-timed it past Ollie the Goalie, high to the glove side. Despite having missed four of the past six games, Mathieu played a strong game and was also a +2.

January 19, 1999

On again, off again. Mathieu played again yesterday. No word about whether he'll play Thursday.

January 16, 1999

After playing yesterday, Mathieu was again scratched due to his groin injury.

January 15, 1999

Although he did play in tonight's game against Chicago, he was not 100%. He may have returned too soon, and is doubtful for the next game.

January 13, 1999

Tonight's OT win over the New York Islanders was Mathieu's second straight game missed due to injury.

January 10, 1999

Mathieu must not have seen my New Year's resolutions for him! Tonight's game against Tampa Bay was the first game he missed due to injury this season. So far he is day to day with a strained groin. Appearantly, he hurt it during the team's skills competition for the All-Star Game.

January 4, 1999

In Monday night's 4-3 home win over the San Jose Sharks, Mathieu was a -1. But he did play well and got a good shot off on goal. With just a minute to go in the second period, he jumped on a lose pucks off the boards and let fly with a beautiful slap shot on Steve Shields. The puck bounced off of Shields and flew on top of the net, knocking off the water bottle. It was quite a shot, and even made it to ESPN's Sportscenter.

December 31, 1998

Mathieu sure closed out 1998 with a bang- a goal, an assist, and 6 minutes in penalties. In the New Year's Eve win over the Avalanche in Colorado, Mathieu picked up an assist with Niklas Lidstrom on Mike Knuble's first period goal. Just three minutes later he added his own power play goal (assisted by Lidstrom and Petr Nedved). And he wasn't done yet! He picked up a tripping penalty at the beginning of the second period, which lead to Claude Lemieux's goal, and a few minutes later picked up another penalty for high-sticking. And finally, he had the only action of the third period, a minor penalty for holding.

December 26, 1998

Go to the article section and see Mathieu's thoughts about Hanukkah (or Chanukkah, how ever you choose).

December 14, 1998

Mathieu scored his second goal in three games and added an assist (on Marc Savard's first period power play goal) in the 5-2 win over Calgary tonight. His goal was an empty net goal from Gretzky and Niklas Sundstrum. He finished the game at a +1.

December 10, 1998

Mathieu scored his second goal of the season, in a 2-1 lose to the Colorado Avalanche. He was the only Ranger of the night (obviously) to score against Patrick Roy.

no news is good new, right?

November 13, 1998

Go to the article section of this site to see the TSN "Daily Diary" entry from Mathieu. In it he talks about being a Jewish minority in the NHL and how he wants to get Jews involved in the sport.

November 11, 1998

So much for getting a +5, Mathieu was a -3 in the lose to Florida.

November 10, 1998

TEN to two!!! Mathieu had one point, but was a +5!!

November 8, 1998

Ok, I've been slacking off on the news, but Interpersonal Communication and Law and Public Policy papers are taking top priority in my life right now. Anyway, Mathieu played against his old team on Saturday and got two assists (including one on the game tying goal). Alright Mathieu!! He was interviewed on CBC Hockey Night in Canada and had some very interesting things to say. I'll have to watch it again so I can summarize.

October 20, 1998

Can you say game winning goal? I hope so, because Mathieu scored the game winner over the Oilers! His first goal as a Ranger came 8:38 into the third period on the power play and assisted by Todd Harvey and Alexei Kovalev.

October 17, 1998

Mathieu got his first point and penalty as a Ranger. He assisted with Wayne Gretzky on a Todd Harvey goal.

October 16, 1998

Mathieu played his first game as a Ranger; unfortunately it was a 2-1 loss to the Devils.

October 14, 1998

MATHIEU SCHNEIDER HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE NEW YORK RANGERS FOR ALEXANDER KARPOVTSEV. Finally the Leafs made a move. By letting this situation linger the Maple Leafs have shown to be a tacky organization, and I am disappointed. Being a team with such a storied history I expected more. But good luck to them in the future. I hope this move works for both clubs, and both players. GOOD LUCK MATHIEU!!!! You are going home!!!

October 11, 1998

Report coming out of Toronto has Mathieu being traded very soon to the New York Rangers in exchange from Alexander Karpovtsev. Of all the trade rumors of late, this one seems very probable. Mathie may be a Ranger very soon.

October 8, 1998

Free-agent defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who has not reported to training camp, is now threatening to play in Europe or the International Hockey League if he doesn't agree to terms with the Leafs. (In fact, he may be close to signing with a team in Europe if the Leafs don't make a move.- my note)

Schneider, who earned $2.4 million last season, wants a deal worth $3.25 million. The Leafs are offering about $2.5 million. It's expected the Leafs will trade the rights to Schneider before they ever re-sign him.

Schneider has been skating with the St. Michael's Majors junior team, which is owned by the Leafs.(from TSN)

September 17, 1998

As expected, Mathieu did not show up at training camp because he has no contract. He has been working out with the Toronto junior teams and continues to negotiate with management. Toronto had a chance to sign him earlier and avoid this mess, but they messed that up, now he is playing hard ball. This may take awhile to work itself out. Hopefully it will be ok by the start of the season. (Toronto is expected to sign him and then trade him as soon as they can swing a deal with another team)

September 2, 1998

Mathieu has said he won't show up at training camp if Toronto does not sign him to a contract. One must wonder what Toronto is up to, since he is very willing to sign and there have been no problems in negotiation. He even says that the deal would be done in a day, if the team would just do it. Toronto says that they have been waiting for three weeks for his agent, Steve Reich, to propose a deal. Reich says that is because of "volatility of the marketplace" is the reason for the delay, not Schneider's reluctance to sign. In fact, the Schneider says he is willing to sign a contract quick before the other free agent defenseman raise the average salary even more. So to the lay person, it seems that Mathieu is caught in the middle. The team wants to see what they can get in a trade, the agent wants to see how big of a contract he can negotiate, and Mathieu wants to play and know what his future holds. As he said, "Toronto has to make up its mind if it wants to trade me or sign me."

August 26, 1998

He is expected to sign a new contract before the start of training camp.

July 3, 1998

Became a restricted free agent. (A restricted free agent is a player whose contract has expired and has received a qualifying offer from his team; his team is therefore given the right to match any contract offered by another team and will receive draft choice compensation if he does sign with another team.) Last season he made $2,500,000 (US) in the second year of the two year contract he signed in September of 1996.

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