Fernie’s LeNeveu signs with Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today (Jan. 21) that the club has agreed to terms with free agent goaltender David LeNeveu.
LeNeveu, 30, has split the season between the Hartford Wolf Pack and Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), posting a record of 1-2-0 with a 2.68 goals against average and .906 save percentage in three games. He is 1-1-0 with a 3.50 goals against average and .891 save percentage in two games with Hartford.
LeNeveu made his Wolf Pack debut on Friday, stopping 26 shots in a 4-2 win at Adirondack. He also appeared in eight games with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL, posting a 4-4-0 record with a 1.64 goals against average, .940 save percentage, and three shutouts.
The 6-1, 190-pounder has appeared in 22 career NHL contests over three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets, posting a 5-9-2 record with a 3.43 goals against average and .887 save percentage. He made his NHL debut with Phoenix on October 6, 2005 at Los Angeles, and registered his first career win with a 24-save effort on October 25, 2005 against St. Louis.
The Fernie-born netminder was originally selected by Phoenix in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Prior to his first shot at the NHL, LeNeveu backstopped Cornell Big Red to the Frozen Four tourney in 2003, setting a school record for shutouts with nine – surpassing legendary Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Ken Dryden by three. His performance in the ECAC landed him in the conversation for the Hobey Baker Award – finishing in the top three in voting for the best hockey player in US college hockey.
Also in 2003 he represented Canada at the 2003 World Junior Championships, backing up current Pittsburgh Penguin starter Marc-Andre Fleury, winning a silver medal.
Two years later LeNeveu debuted in the NHL with a then-woeful Coyotes’ team – finishing with a 25-save effort in a 3-2 loss to the LA Kings.
LeNeveu then cut his teeth in the AHL, playing for the Coyotes’ then-American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Utah Grizzlies, earning a spot on the 2004 AHL all-star team. Of note, LeNeveu formed a goaltending tandem for ‘Team Canada’ during that game with Invermere resident Wade Dubielewicz – a one-time only ‘all East Kootenay’ goaltending duo.
During the 2008 NHL Trade Deadline, the Coyotes dealt LeNeveu to the Rangers with former first round pick Fredrik Sjostrom and enforcer Josh Gratton for goalie Al Montoya (now with the Winnipeg Jets) and forward Marcel Hossa.
The Rangers opted not to sign him for the next season and he landed with the Anaheim Ducks but never played a game for them. He spent that season with the AHL’s Iowa Chops, before venturing to Europe where he helped capture an Austrian Hockey League championship with EC Red Bull Salzburg in 2009/10.
He played his last NHL game in 2010 with the Columbus Blue Jackets – a less than memorable tilt – and spent the next two seasons in the AHL.
He played for EH Linz in the Austrian league last year before finding his way back to North America this season.
LeNeveu was recalled from Hartford as an emergency backup to Cam Talbot because of superstar ‘tender Henrik Lundqvist’s illness.