Brodeur wants to finish career with Devils
|Brodeur hopes to remain a Devil.|
“It could be out of my hands, but personally, I have no desire of going anywhere this season or next season,” Brodeur said Wednesday. “I’d love to finish my career here.”
As the Devils (9-22-2) have continued to struggle, there has been speculation that Brodeur might be moved to a contending club. But the goaltender with the most wins, shutouts and games played in League history squashed all of that Wednesday, indicating his heart’s in the Garden State.
Brodeur was asked if Devils’ President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello would approach him with possible trade scenarios. Brodeur, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, would have to approve any deal.
“I’ll cross that bridge if it happens,” Brodeur said. “It’s a possibility. We’re not all untouchables. It could be a possibility, but on a personal level, I don’t want to go anywhere. I like it here, I like playing for this organization and I guarantee we won’t have two seasons like that in a row.”
The Devils hold a two-point cushion on the 30th place Islanders, who visit Prudential Center on Thursday. This is uncharted territory for New Jersey, two-time defending Atlantic Division champions, and winners of four of the last five division crowns.
On Tuesday, they suffered their third straight loss, and ninth straight on the road, with a 5-1 defeat in Washington.
“It’s tough, not just for me, I think for everybody,” Brodeur said. “I think it’s just difficult times. We’re not used to it and you don’t want to get used to it. It’s a season we’re going through every day, and you scratch your head because we play well parts of games, and after that there’s collapses. You just kind of try to find the answers and keep on doing it over and over.”
The gold-standard of goalers, Brodeur has amassed a treasure chest of hardware during his illustrious 17 seasons: three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, four Vezina Trophies, and five Jennings Trophies.
Given the heights the Devils were projected to reach this season, he never could have expected these types of questions regarding his future in New Jersey.
But considering what he’s achieved wearing the “NJ” on his chest, Brodeur resisted the notion that one rough stretch of games was enough to make him turn his back on nearly two decades of excellence with one club. Three of his five wins this season have come via shutout.
“It’s 30 games of, call it ‘hell’ for us. It’s tough. It’s tough on everybody,” he said. “(But) because it’s tough, you don’t just want to go somewhere else. That’s not the way you should think, especially when you’ve been around for so long and been a part of this organization. I won’t let a great thing go because of a tough (33) games so far.
The mutual loyalty between Brodeur and the Devils can be traced back to the 1990 Entry Draft, when New Jersey traded down to select the then 18-year-old Montreal native with the 20th overall pick.
He'll make his 1,100th career appearance when he starts Thursday against the Isles.
“I only know one thing, well, two things: I know Hockey Canada and I know New Jersey Devils,” he joked. “Both have been great experiences. I’ve been really lucky throughout my career, it’s just right now is tough times. Everybody’s going through it. For me to be able to say I played somewhere for the rest of my career would be awesome. Like I’ve said, you never know. I can’t say it will happen. I’d love for it to happen. That’s my wish, but sometimes it changes.”
Brodeur, 38, has one year remaining on his contract, and holds every belief that he will be a Devil through the end of its term.
“Today I want to play another year,” he said. “If you asked me (after Tuesday’s loss), it might have been different. You have a lot of mood swings when you’re not successful. But definitely I’m planning on honoring my contract, so that would be an extra year after this one. We’ll see where we’re at after that.”
Head coach John MacLean did his part to put the Brodeur trade rumors to bed.
“That would never even enter my mind,” he said.