Just 24 hours ago, the New Jersey Devils’ goaltending situation looked murky. In the short term, there was no question that Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg would enter the 2013-14 campaign as the team’s starting and backup goaltenders respectively.
The duo did fine for the most part in 2013, but Brodeur is 41 and entering the final campaign of his contract. What will the Devils do when the legendary goaltender finally hangs up his skates?
Enter Cory Schneider, who the Devils took from the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for the price of the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (aka forward Bo Horvat). Suddenly the Devils have a talented netminder who is just entering the prime of his career.
Brodeur admitted that the trade shocked him, but it didn’t take him long to warm up to the move.
“I think for the future of the organization it’s the best move,” Brodeur told the Bergen Record. “Cory is one of the top five goalies, in my mind, in the NHL. (It’s) a chance for him to get away from the chaos of Vancouver.
“I’m not going to play forever. I think it’s great that I’m going to be able to play with him. I’m definitely going to try to push him and get my ice time as much as I can while I’m still able to play. Definitely, he’s the future of the organization.”
Despite Schneider’s skills, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello insisted that Broduer would still be the number one goaltender in 2013-14. Brodeur certainly still sees himself as a starter.
“In my mind, I am,” he said. “He’s going to have to fight me for it.”
There might be points in the 2013-14 campaign where the transition between Brodeur and Schneider feels awkward, but the Devils’ future between the pipes looks far brighter today than it did last week.