The NHL trade deadline saw a flurry of teams trading their goalkeepers. The most notable goalie deals have been the Blues trading for Ryan Miller and the Panthers trading for their former goalie, Roberto Luongo. Martin Brodeur, perhaps the greatest goalie in NHL history, was rumored to be the next high-profile goalie to make a move, but the Devils ultimately decided against trading him. It is rumored that Brodeur gave GM Lou Lamoriello a list of teams he would like to be traded to if he was to be moved, although Brodeur himself did not confirm this.
Martin Brodeur is probably the greatest goalie in the history of the NHL. He is the overall wins, saves, and shutouts leader in the league’s history as well as helping his team win three Stanley Cups. In addition to all of his NHL accomplishments, he has also been a part of two gold-medal winning Canadian Olympic teams in 2002 and 2010. So why would the Devils want to trade a goalie they have had as long as some other members of the team have been alive? Because they know he will not be able to play forever. Brodeur is invaluable to their team and has been the face of the franchise for his entire career, but he is also 41 and can only have a few more years of playing at a high level.
Whether or not it will hurt the Devils in the future, they decided against making a move that included Brodeur at the trade deadline. They did make one move right before the deadline ended by dealing center Andrei Loktionov and a 2017 third-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for left winger Tuomo Ruutu. It was an odd move in terms of their future considering Loktionov is 23 years old and Ruutu is 31.
The Devils currently sit in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference, but are only two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot. Where they sit in the standings would have been the major reason for trading the face of their franchise in Brodeur. Brodeur is perhaps their greatest tradable asset because he could absolutely help a contending team who needs help in goal. Trading him could have helped the Devils make the playoffs this season, as he could have been traded for a few more pieces to fill more holes on their roster. In terms of goals per game the Devils are 24th in the NHL, even with Jagr becoming only the eighth man in NHL history to reach 700 goals. A few goal scorers could have really helped their struggling offense, and they will be hoping that the move they made for Ruutu will do exactly that.
Whatever the Devils could have gotten for Brodeur is all speculation at this point since they decided against dealing him. They will continue to try to make the playoffs with their legendary goalkeeper and the acquisition of Ruutu. This summer, they will have major roster decisions to make, including what the future of Brodeur is.
Commentary by Max Petkevicius