The New Jersey Devils opted not to move Martin Brodeur before the NHL's trade deadline Wednesday. It seemed like a longshot for a number of reasons, but now that Brodeur knows where he'll end his season, he's looking for another shot. The 41-year-old wants to play in the NHL next season and that probably means with a team other than New Jersey.
That would be just fine with Brodeur.
The legendary goaltender shared more with Rich Chere of the Star Ledger:
Brodeur said he wants to play, but he wants to be in a situation in which he feels comfortable. And that does not necessarily mean being a No. 1.
“No, just to play more and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. Be in the playoffs,” Brodeur said Friday. “Those were some of the requirements I had, not just being outside looking in. I didn't want to come back to a situation like this.”
Brodeur said he wasn't surprised he wasn't dealt because his demands were very specific. He wanted to go to a contender.
“When the time comes, if it does, it will be a different situation,” he told the Star Ledger. “I don't think the market has changed for what I could bring to somebody, or here. I'll see.”
It's hard to imagine there will be a long line to sign Brodeur among teams looking to win a Stanley Cup. Even if he was the backup, it's hard to know what kind of impact he would be able to make on a team with championship aspirations.
Brodeur's numbers have been in decline for years and right now he's at a sub-.900 save percentage for the Devils this year. Perhaps there's a team that will value his experience and pedigree, or maybe his name's ability to sell tickets, but that's about it.
The Devils will have to think long and hard about this as well if Brodeur feels this is a team that can contend next season (which is probably asking too much). Cory Schneider is the No. 1 now and once this season ends, it might be time to cut ties with the longtime netminder to give Schneider some breathing room.
It's always hard to see longtime players so far past their prime still trying to play, but it's their decision to make. A player like Brodeur has more than earned the right to dictate when he says it's time.
Someone probably will sign him next year and he'll probably play, but it's hard to see a fairytale ending for one of the best goalies the game has ever known.