The New Jersey Devils have placed goaltender Martin Brodeur on the injured reserve list. Brodeur has been playing with a sore back for “a few games”, and took himself out of Sunday’s loss at home to the Winnipeg Jets after tweaking it again in warm-ups.
The 40-year old future Hall of Famer saw the team doctor on Monday, and was listed as day-to-day yesterday. Goalie Keith Kinkaid was recalled from the team’s AHL affiliate in Albany in order to have a second goaltender on hand for practice.
The decision was made late yesterday to place Brodeur on the injured reserve list after it was determined that Brodeur’s back was still uncomfortable, and it was unlikely he would be able to play on Thursday against the Jets. The move will be retroactive to February 24.
“This is just a safety precaution,” General Manager Lou Lamoriello emphasized. “It’s a day-to-day situation. He’s still feeling uncomfortable. It would be foolish to go ‘X’ number of hours on a plane to Winnipeg.”
Lamoriello also stressed to reporters that the Devils’ team doctors did not find anything seriously wrong with Brodeur’s back.
However, the move to the injured reserve list would leave Brodeur unavailable to play against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. The earliest he would be able to suit up again would be Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kinkaid, a rookie goaltender from Farmingville, New York will hit the road with the Devils to serve as Johan Hedberg’s backup until Brodeur is ready to go.
The 23-year old got a similar call last season in October when Brodeur missed six games with a shoulder injury. The youngster has yet to start his first NHL game, but was more than happy to serve as a backup.
“I had a lot of fun last year backing up,” Kinkaid said in an interview after practice. “It’s just exciting. Obviously, you want to get a first game. The time will come, hopefully. It starts in practice, showing what you’ve got. Just being with the team is an accomplishment. I feel like I’ve progressed. I couldn’t really sleep last night. I was pretty excited to get up here again to show them what I had in practice to see how much I’ve improved.”
Hedberg, who has lost his last three starts, will get the opportunity to get his game back on track.
“I think I need to play better, obviously,” Hedberg admitted yesterday. “The last three starts I haven’t won. I know what needs to be done. I just have to go out and do it when it counts.”