NEWARK — When the New Jersey Devils traded for Cory Schneider this afternoon, the first question asked was: What about Martin Brodeur?
Well, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is standing by the face of his franchise.
“Marty is still a number one goalie,” he said about the 41 year-old future Hall of Famer.
What about Schneider? Lou’s a big fan as well.
“I think we’re getting a goaltender not only of the present but of the future. Certainly Marty is at a point where he can’t play the way he played, as far as the number of games he played,” he explained.
“This young man has proven to be a No. 1 goaltender. We feel great about it. I’ve spoken to him and he’s just excited to come here and work with Marty.”
When it came to making his decision to deal for Schneider, Lamoriello made it very plain.
“This is something we were able to do. This was something in the best interest of our franchise and we made a decision to do it.”
Oddly enough, Lamoriello says he hasn’t had a chance to talk with Brodeur as he was busy working on the floor at the draft.
With Brodeur and Schneider set to battle for time in goal next season, it brings up the possibility of Schneider pushing Brodeur to be even better in goal.
Lamoriello says that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
“If you know Marty, Marty doesn’t need anyone to push him. Marty doesn’t compete against anyone. He competes against himself,” he said. “He’s an elite athlete with tremendous pride. A team player. I don’t want to go over Marty looking over his shoulder. He’s a tremendous professional. He’ll help Cory out as much as possible.”
As for veteran backup Johan Hedberg, Lamoriello said he’ll sit down with him and discuss their future. He has one year left on his deal with New Jersey and a $1.4 million cap hit.
At 28 years-old, the question here is whether Schneider actually needs more help at this point in his career. The Devils may not think they have issues in goal now, but they’re going to have a lot more questions moving ahead.