Martin Brodeur: Could He Still Help New Jersey


In a summer which we saw New Jersey make a couple big moves, the Devils should capitalize on the chance to make one more. Unrestricted Free Agent Martin Brodeur is still looking for a job and the Devils should extend him an invite to camp.

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After twenty years of loyal service to New Jersey, Brodeur tested the market this summer with the understanding that the Devils would not pursue him. Several teams were rumored to make a move, but with nothing coming out of it, one of the greatest goalies of all time is waiting by the phone for any team to give him an opportunity.

Calling him one of the greatest goalies of all time may be a huge understatement. For those not familiar with his resume, he is currently the all-time leader in career wins and shutouts. For the last twenty years, Brodeur has been the anchor of this organization leading them to three Stanley Cup victories and the playoffs 16 times.

Broduer came into the league in the 1993-94 season where he won Rookie of the Year. Brodeur only got better from his rookie season, where he won the Vezina four times and the Jennings’ trophy 5. In his prime, Brodeur dominated the league, but in these past  five years, Brodeur’s age has become more apparent. For the last 5 seasons, Brodeur’s save percentages never registered over 0.910, which was a mark which he only fell under 3 times in his career before the 2009-10 season.

Apr 13, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) is honored by fans after his 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

As great as those numbers are to look at, unfortunately that’s all we can do with them. It is no question Brodeur is past his prime, but the aging legend is a much better option to back up Schneider in the upcoming season. The Devils will need their number two net-minder between the pipes for about 10 to 15 games this season. If Brodeur is okay with the lack of work, his addition could benefit the Devils more than their other two immediate options. New Jersey brought in former Devil Scott Clemmensen this summer, and they also have Keith Kinkaid waiting for his chance.

Scott Clemmensen was drafted by New Jersey in 1997 with the 215th overall pick. Most fans remember him filling in for Brodeur in the 2008-2009 season, where he played in 40 games for the Red & Black. That season was a breakout year as he posted a record of 25-13-1 and a save percentage of .917. It was the first chance Clemmensen had to get a real chance and his performance turned heads.

The next season he headed south to Florida, and so did his career. In the last five years, Clemmensen only played at least 30 games in a season twice. Now the 37 year old net-minder has been brought in to back-up the Devils number 1, after a season which he recorded a record of 6-7-1 with a save percentage .896

The other viable option the Devils already have on their payroll is the youthful Keith Kinkaid. Drafted by New Jersey in April of 2011, the 25 year old goaltender has tallied 38 wins in the last two seasons with Albany.

In the 87 games that Kinkaid played in, he has recorded a save percentage of 0.905 and GAA of 2.83. Kinkaid has also see some NHL time, mostly from the bench, but did play in one game. Kinkaid came in to finish a game, playing 26 minutes and denying 12 of the 13 shots that he faced.

Keith Kinkaid will be given a shot to prove himself this pre-season, but may be too young to rely on. Scott Clemmensen was brought in for this role, but shouldn’t be handed the position due to his unimpressive recent statistics. Inviting Brodeur to camp could be eye-opening to how much better their back up role could be filled by the aging legend. If Brodeur can accept his role as the definite back-up, New Jersey could get a major upgrade in terms of their goalie tandem.

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