Martin Brodeur a part-time starting goalie? It could happen

Days have been pretty dark in New Jersey all season long, but today serves to be the wake-up call that times are changing in Newark and that franchise icons don’t always shine forever. Martin Brodeur was chased from his last start against Carolina after just eight minutes giving up three goals on seven shots. Johan Hedberg started the next game against Atlanta, a 3-1 Devils win.

The Devils today said that Hedberg would get the start once again against the Wild tomorrow night, and if you think this is a stunning turn of events you’d be right. Martin Brodeur isn’t injured nor is he playing hurt and if you’re curious about what the future hall of famer thinks of this, his thoughts are rather telling as Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger finds out.

Does Brodeur feel he’s reached that point in his career where he will share the goaltending?

“I think in a season like this probably. In a different season, maybe not,” Brodeur said. “We’ll see how it goes.

“I like to play a lot and that will never change. But it’s got to be fun for me to play hockey. Not winning is not fun. So if we get back to winning I’ll play more. I don’t deserve to be in there when you don’t win. That’s the bottom line. I’ve been winning all my career and now it’s been a little tougher. So it’s normal. If this works, good. It helps out the team.”

Brodeur has always been a team guy and it’s not as if he’s ever had to beg to start a game. Throughout his career, Brodeur has been a workhorse in goal, sometimes playing upwards of 70 games in a regular season, including last year when he played in 77 games. Seven times in his career Brodeur has lead the league in minutes played. For years fans and media alike have clamored for Brodeur to get more of a break to have him better prepared for the playoffs.

The not-so secret facts behind this move for the time being are simple: Brodeur has been a very average goalie. While the defensive corps in front of him have been a mix of very young and very mediocre guys, Brodeur hasn’t been able to help bail them out the way he used to. While Brodeur’s record is poor, his personal stats are alarming. A goals against average of 3.15 is like something out of the 1980s and his .882 save percentage is downright poor. This isn’t the same Brodeur we’re accustomed to seeing and this time, we might just have to accept that he getting older, a truth that some fans might be a bit sad about realizing.

For now though, Jacques Lemaire is riding the hot hand to try and spark his bumbling and inconsistent team. If that’s what it takes to get the Devils playing well again and reinvigorate Brodeur’s season, then it’s not the worst move that could be made. If it turns out to be the first sign that Marty Brodeur is about to turn into an old goalie in front of our eyes, then this is a downer. Whether you’ve appreciated his career or not, there are zero doubts about how great he’s been over his career and seeing a legend on the downside of their career isn’t quite as fun.

Golden Knights assign 2017 first-round picks Glass, Suzuki to junior

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The Vegas Golden Knights continue to make roster moves during their inaugural training camp.

On Friday, the expansion club assigned four players to junior. That includes 2017 first-round picks Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks and Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack.

The Golden Knights made franchise history by taking Glass with the sixth overall pick and then selected Suzuki at 13th overall. Both players appeared in two preseason games for Vegas, each recording two points in the exhibition opener versus the Vancouver Canucks.

“Nobody is going to rush (the rookies), that’s for sure,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Sun following the club’s 9-4 win over Vancouver on Sunday.

“We are in a position where we want to make sure they are ready to play. They are going to be good players when they’re healthy and strong enough to play in the league.”

Vegas has all three 2017 first-round picks — Glass, Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom — signed to three-year entry-level contracts.

Mitchell signed PTO with Blue Jackets — shortly after getting cut by Blackhawks

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When the Chicago Blackhawks announced their roster moves yesterday, John Mitchell was among the cuts.

His professional tryout with the Blackhawks had come to an end, as it did for veterans Mark Stuart and Drew Miller.

It can be an uphill battle to make an NHL roster for veterans on professional tryouts. But for Mitchell, he quickly received another opportunity to attend a camp and try to land a spot, signing a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Mitchell, 32, has appeared in 548 NHL regular season games with 70 goals and 177 points.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are still without forward and restricted free agent Josh Anderson, as the two sides are stuck in a contract impasse right now. It was reported on Thursday that his representatives have been in contact with Hockey Canada about the 2018 Olympics.

Calgary mayor: ‘Errors of omission’ in Flames arena proposal

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On Thursday, the Calgary Flames released a report claiming they were prepared to contribute $275 million for a new arena, with additional funding — in the ball park of $225 million — from a Community Revitalization Levy.

On Friday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded to the proposal and the events of yesterday.

“I wouldn’t say dishonesty. I would, however, say that there are perhaps some errors of omission,” Nenshi told reporters, according to Global Calgary, when asked if there had been a level of dishonesty from the Flames with their proposal.

The Flames not only released a report with financial details to their website, but they also took out ads in local newspapers. Nenshi took issue with the details the Flames released yesterday.

“What was in that ad was not actually what the last deal on the table with the city was,” he said.

“For example, yesterday you saw that the Flames’ owners are claiming that they’re putting $275 million up front. Makes it sound like a (check) is being put on the table. Certainly that has not been discussed. That would’ve really changed things had that been the discussion.

“The discussion, the last I saw, was the Flames were putting $100 million in and the rest would be a ticket tax, which they wanted the city to take out, to get for and to front. I’m not quite sure how that equals the Flames putting in money up front.”

Yesterday, the Flames added in their report that, after two years of discussions with the city about a new arena, they will no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary.

The Flames currently play at the Saddledome, which is now 34 years old.

Report: Skinner among leading candidates for Hurricanes captaincy

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The Carolina Hurricanes went last season without a captain. That will change once training camp is over, and, according to a recent report, Jeff Skinner is one of the prime candidates to possibly wear the ‘C’ for this season.

The Hurricanes selected Skinner seventh overall in 2010. He made an instant impact on the NHL club, scoring 31 goals and 63 points in his rookie season as a teenager. He’s been a valuable offensive weapon for Carolina ever since.

This past season, he scored 37 goals — a career best. Although the consideration to potentially make him the next captain goes beyond his skills around the opposing net.

From NHL.com:

“He’s a passionate guy and he’s a passionate player,” Peters said. “He’s a real good pro in the fact that he looks after himself, he trains properly and the guys have unreal respect for the way he looks after his body. The maturity shows. I know guys bring it up quite a bit.”

To that end, Peters said he was at a staff golf outing prior to the start of training camp with about 16 people, including members of the Hurricanes’ medical and strength training staffs, and he polled as many people about the captaincy candidates as he could.

“[Skinner’s] name came up in the conversation quite a bit, and they bring up that type of stuff, the way he looks after himself and the way he prepares,” Peters said. “He’s passionate about it and he’s hungry to win.”

The Hurricanes have, over the past few years, done a nice job of building a talented young roster that has shown signs of being able to compete in the Eastern Conference. They do, however, play in a difficult Metropolitan Division, which features the Blue Jackets, Penguins, Capitals and Rangers.

The biggest change in Carolina this offseason was in net, with the addition of Scott Darling, who was the capable back-up in Chicago but is now taking over the No. 1 role with the Hurricanes.

Another change is still upcoming. Eric Staal was the captain in Carolina for six years, but the team is expected to soon name a replacement. There are other candidates for the Hurricanes captaincy, as well, like Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal.

“Someone is going to wear one, for sure,” said Peters earlier this month, per TSN. “Our leadership group is fine and we’ve got real good candidates. They’ll all provide leadership whether they wear a letter or not.”