If the New Jersey Devils bring back future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur next season, coach Peter DeBoer is prepared for it just in case.
For the first time in his career, Brodeur was outperformed by a teammate. In this case it was Cory Schneider who put up superior numbers and earned more starts. Brodeur spoke often about how he might need to go elsewhere next season if the Devils don’t want him back.
If Brodeur does return to Newark, the coach won’t be caught off guard as Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares.
“Those decisions are made above me, but if Lou (Lamoriello) and Marty decide that it’s best for everybody, absolutely we’d welcome him back,” DeBoer said.
“If those two decide it’s in the best interests of everybody that he comes back, of course we’d welcome him back. I mean, why wouldn’t we? He’s a great teammate, a great pro.”
It’s clear at this point in his career that Brodeur, 42, is more of a backup than a starter. His numbers compared to Schneider’s last season bore that out. Brodeur stopped pucks at a decidedly average .901 clip while Schneider did so at a .921 save percentage.
Brodeur still has the desire and the wont to start, but it might make more sense for the Devils to give Schneider more starts than he had last season if they want to return to the playoffs.