Martin Brodeur has been named the starter for the New Jersey Devils when they take on the New York Islanders on Saturday night. With the trade deadline looming, and a ton of talk about teams being interested in Brodeur’s services, could this game be the final night you see him in red and black?
Cory Schneider is now the starter for the Devils. He started eight-straight games after the Stadium Series debacle against the New York Rangers. He is trying his best to carry this Devils team to the playoffs. He is second in the NHL with an average of 1.85 goals against. He is tied for fifth with a .926 save percentage. He is the guy the Devils have to ride this season if they are going to have a chance in the ultra competitive Metropolitan Division.
Brodeur is the greatest thing the Devils have ever seen. He is obviously the best player of the Devils’ franchise. He has 682 wins, by far the most of all time. His career save percentage is .912, which also coincided with the 90’s when teams were scoring at will. He played during an era that went from playing five-on-five, to four-on-four, then tie — to having to get used to a new concept in the shootout. Not only did he get used to it, he excelled at it. He won four Vezina Trophies proving he was the best goalie in the league for each of those four seasons. He also raised the Stanley Cup on three occasions, including one of the best matches ever when he faced a red-hot Jean-Sebastien Giguere and the Anaheim Ducks in the 2003 finals. He also has the record for most shutouts in league history with 124.
The legacy of Brodeur will not be questioned. He is going to join the Hall of Fame and he will go in as a Devil no matter what. It will be interesting to watch on Saturday night while wondering if Brodeur is making his last saves in the Prudential Center. It is going to be a somber night for fans.
My gut feeling says that Brodeur isn’t going anywhere. Head coach Peter DeBoer said that he can still play himself into the lineup more. The team is still very much in playoff contention. General manager Lou Lamoriello has said that he isn’t going to actively pursue a trade involving the 41-year-old. I don’t think that Brodeur has the heart to request it.