It came out today that the New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said he is willing to test the free agent market next season. He said today that he is 80 percent sure he is coming back. If you add that to what he has been saying all season, then you could do the math to see that Brodeur wants to be an NHL goalie next season.
The real question is, should he be? Should Brodeur go through another season as a 42-year-old goalie?
It is clear that he isn’t the player he used to be. He hasn’t had a save percentage over 91 since the 2009-10 season, and he dealt with a major injury last season which may have cost the Devils their season. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs, then he will have missed the postseason in three of the past four seasons after making it in 13 straight season prior.
The fact is that Brodeur is no longer a starting NHL goalie. He could probably start on a team that isn’t very good, but I can’t see him spending his final season on a losing team. Is he really going to play for a team like the Chicago Blackhawks or Montreal Canadiens to be a backup to someone else?
There just isn’t any room on the Devils for Brodeur even though he has done amazing work in his time in New Jersey. He is this franchise, and they owe him a lot for what he has done. All of that cannot let the team do itself harm by keeping a 42-year-old who is only going to be an ongoing storyline.
The team needs to give Cory Schneider a chance to be ‘the guy’. His entire career has been spent in storylines of either Schneider or Roberto Luongo and Schneider or Brodeur. I understand the sentimental feelings fans have toward Brodeur and the fact that Schneider has not been consistent all season, but you have to see what you have. That will never happen if Brodeur is still a Devil. On top of that, you have Keith Kinkaid who showed this season he is ready to be an NHL backup. He was killing it in the AHL for most of the season, so the team should be willing to give him the job going into camp.
Do you really think Brodeur wants to come back for the veteran’s minimum just so he can play another season? There are places for him to go. I am sure he can get an analyst job with whoever he wants or even a front office job with the Devils. He can still be a part of hockey in New Jersey, but he shouldn’t be suiting up. His time has come, and before he performs a Mike Modano in Detroit type season, he should hang up his skates.