NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Turns out this wasn’t it for Martin Brodeur in New Jersey.
He’s been the masked face of the Devils for 20 years. As the NHL trade deadline loomed, both the goalie and the only team he has played for contemplated an uncertain future.
WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Jody McDonald asked Devils GM Lou Lamoriello on Wednesday afternoon how close he came to trading the iconic goalie, and the executive was at a loss for words.
“I don’t know if that’s even a question that I would even know how to answer,” Lamoriello told the radio duo. “Marty’s been here for so long, has done just about anything and everything an athlete can do for an organization, and is still doing it. And all I can say is we’re just delighted that we’re in the same position today as we were yesterday.”
Brodeur had been the subject of trade rumors leading up to Wednesday’s deadline. On Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported that the Devils and the Wild had agreed to a deal that would send the goalie to Minnesota. But hours later, the Wild acquired goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from the Edmonton Oilers.
Brodeur had a no-trade clause and he said he wasn’t asked to waive it.
“A lot of people were putting it out there that this might be my last game,” Brodeur said. “If it is, I wanted to enjoy it as much as I could.”
Devils fans chanted Brodeur’s name during the national anthem and throughout the game.
“It was great,” Brodeur said. “I didn’t expect that. I think (reporters) did a good job to kind of create maybe a sellout for the Devils. But definitely it was nice that the fans reacted like that.”
The 41-year-old goalie is the NHL’s career leader in wins, minutes played, games played, losses and shutouts. He has been awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie four times and is a three-time Stanley Cup champion while playing his entire career with the Devils.
“I use consummate pro. “You never see any breaks,” coach Peter DeBoer said of Brodeur, who is in the final year of a two-year, $9 million contract, and has lost playing time to Cory Schneider.
“I hope they don’t trade him,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who coached Brodeur on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team that won gold. “A decorated athlete like him … I hope he stays a New Jersey Devil.”
Many fans felt the same way.
But Brodeur put it best: “This is who I am. I’m a Devil. And I’m always going to be a Devil regardless of what happens (Wednesday).”
Luckily for Devils fans, nothing happened on Wednesday.
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