Martin Brodeur may have played his last game with the NJ Devils Sunday afternoon.
(photo courtesy of USA Today)
by Drew Sarver
Martin Brodeur pulled the red and black home uniform of the New Jersey Devils over his shoulder pads Sunday afternoon, for what could be the last time. The sure-fire NHL Hall of Fame member-to-be goalie is said to want to play one more year, but it’s not likely to happen with the team he has spent his entire 23-year career with.
The Devils acquired goalie Corey Schneider from Vancouver last off-season to be their goalie of the future, but Schneider became the goalie of now when Brodeur struggled. The Devils #1 goalie for so many years, Brodeur argued that his poor play can be attributed to a lack of playing time. But which came first, the chicken or the egg?
With the Devils moving forward, Brodeur is destined to sign a free agent contract elsewhere for the 2014-2015 season. The only way he would remain in NJ is if he can accept being the #2 goalie and is guaranteed, in some way, more consistent playing time. (He appeared in 39 games this season.) Another factor in Brodeur’s decision, is the possibility of returning to the post-season. The Devils have missed the playoffs the last two years, the first time that has occurred since the 1985 and 1986 seasons.
During this season’s trade deadline, Brodeur was thought to possibly be on the move, but stayed put. Had he pressed the issue, he likely could have landed with another team, but also as a backup. The dilemma for Brodeur is whether to sign elsewhere and be unsure of playing time, or take a chance and finish his career in New Jersey. The latter could lead to another trade deadline decision in 2015.
The future of coach Pete De Boer could also play a factor in Brodeur’s future. De Boer took the team to the Stanley Cup finals in his first year as coach in 2011-2012, but the team finished 19-19-10 in last season’s strike-shortened season and managed just 88 points this season. Brodeur started the last two Devils games this season, including an emotional season-ending game at “The Rock”, NJ’s home arena in Newark, NJ.
For Brodeur, it’s all about one more run at the Cup. He hoisted Lord Stanley’s trophy in 1995, 2000, and 2003, but until two years ago, the team hadn’t gotten past the conference semi-finals since their last Cup win.
Brodeur added to his NHL record when he got the win in the Devils 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins Sunday. Here is a look at where Brodeur stands among his peers for single season and career records.
13 times led the league in games played by a goalie, 12 times with 70+ games played
78 games played in 2006-2007 regular season, second highest to Grant Fuhr’s 79
48 wins in 2006-2007, all-time record
14 times led the league in wins
10 times led the league in shutouts
2 goals, 45 assists
688 wins – 1st
2.239 Goals Against Average – 9th
124 shutouts – 1st
1,258 games played – 1st
3 Stanley Cup rings
24 shutouts – 1st
Statistics courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com
Drew Sarver is the founder, publisher, managing editor, and a contributor for Designated For Assignment. He can be followed on twitter at @mypinstripes and @d4assignment or contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.