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Five Questions: Brodeur on trade talk, his future

by Dan Rosen's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur:

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur is closer to the Hall of Fame than he is to scoring another long-term contract, but that hasn't stopped the New Jersey Devils goaltender from continuing to build on his laundry list of NHL records, including wins, shutouts, games played and minutes played.

Brodeur, 41, has six wins, a 1.98 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 starts this season despite not having a firm grip on the No. 1 job that he held for nearly two decades. Cory Schneider is working in tandem with Brodeur to provide the Devils some of the best goaltending in the NHL this season.

Brodeur, though, can be an unrestricted free agent after the season and the only thing he knows for sure is he has roots in New Jersey and it's where he wants to live once he hangs up his skates for good. There's no telling when that will be or if he will do that as a Devil.

Prior to a game last week against the Los Angeles Kings, he spoke to about his season, the trade that brought Schneider to New Jersey and his future.

Here are Five Questions With … Martin Brodeur:

Have you developed a new attitude this season in order to handle the fact that you aren't the unquestioned No. 1 goalie now?

"A little bit, but you learn how you should feel and how you should go about things and if you're too easy on it and you don't care too much -- I never had that attitude. I like to play. I like to do certain things. I have to prepare a certain way. If I take a step back and just say do what I'm told, the next thing you know it's not me. I need to be a certain way. I've tried to change a little bit because I know with time you have to adjust to different things, but I found out with myself that I can't change too much. I have to be the guy I need to be because this is what success has brought me."

I was recently talking to Brendan Shanahan about the Hall of Fame and he said that there comes a time in a player's career when you get grumpy because you're doing the same thing over and over, but when you know you're near the end it all becomes fun again. I'm not trying to put you in a retirement home here, but is that the case with you?

"You can appreciate it a little more, but that comes with success. You have to play well or your team has to do well for you to enjoy it, and some guys don't have that opportunity.

"Two or three years ago I didn't know if I was going to come back. We didn't make the playoffs and the whole year after it was like, as you say, you're kind of grumpy. The next thing you know you're tasting that fun again and you probably have more fun than you should have, but that's what hockey brings you. That's a feeling that everybody who is retired has, and I know because I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of them because I know I'm coming close. That's one of the things they say. They're like, 'After this you won't be able to laugh like this or be able to yap at a guy and say what you say because in the real world that doesn't exist, you can't do that.' These are things that you'll miss so you have to enjoy every single moment because it'll be over. That's the attitude I have about it.

"But this year with [Jaromir] Jagr I have a guy to relate to and I never had that before. That's kind of fun for me. We have conversations about certain situations or guys we played against or with that only me and him can talk about. It's fun having him around for that."

You're sitting up there in the suite at the 2013 NHL Draft here at Prudential Center when the trade for Cory Schneider is announced. What was the first thing you thought of when you heard the news?

"I was in shock, to be honest with you. I didn't see it coming. But thinking about it a little more, five minutes after, I'm like, 'You know, this is what I've been asking Lou [Lamoriello, Devils general manager] to do for the last few years.' When I signed my two-year contract I told Lou, 'Bring some young guy in so I can help him out and do these things.' I kind of forgot about what I told him, but the next thing you know I'm thinking, 'Yeah, that makes sense.' I'm not going to play forever and having a guy like him is a big luxury. The future of this team will be in good hands now."

The topic of a trade already has come up this season with you and you've addressed it. You've basically said that you won't ask for a trade but if it ever came to the point that Lamoriello approached you, you'd be willing to listen. How do you think you'll react if you're the subject of trade talk this season, because you've never had that?

Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 6-3-2
GAA: 1.98 | SVP: 0.919
"I don't know. Like, you say it and I get a little smile because I don't know how I'm going to react. If you would have asked me that question say three years ago I would have said there is no way because I felt that I had two more years to go. I don't know if I'm ready to move on somewhere for another two years or so and redo my life somewhere. But if, and we always talk about ifs, if there is an opportunity that the Devils are seeking and they ask me and I think it could be a good fit and a fun fit for two months or three months, then who knows?

"But it's not something that I want to do. That's my point. People have to understand, I'm never going to ask for it. But whatever happens I'll be back here anyway. Regardless in what capacity, this is where my life is going to be. It's going to be attached to the Devils. That's my hope, so I want anything good for them. Hey, if I'm able to get them something back -- they haven't gotten anything from me yet besides winning hockey games."

You bring up that you'll be here no matter what. I know this line of questioning is looking ahead and you're in the now, but have you thought about what capacity that you'd want to do something in, no matter if it's next year, the year after, three years from now?

"You know, I'm not looking at something right away. Whatever I'm going to get into I want to make sure I'm ready for it and I want to learn things.

"Coaching I don't think will be an option early on just because the day-to-day operation of a coach, I've done this as a player for so long that I'm going to need to take a break and just enjoy my kids. I've had this conversation with my boys. You know, Anthony [Brodeur, Devils 2013 seventh-round draft pick], I've seen him play maybe three times in the last four years. So when I'm not going to play I want to watch him, I want to be a part of it. I'm watching every game on the Internet and I'm going crazy. I want to be that dad too, just a regular guy. I want to enjoy my kids. I have a little one that's 4 and he's going to start playing hockey soon. I want to be part of it. These coaches work way harder than hockey players, so for me coaching is not an option right away, if ever.

"For me it's more of an in-the-office type of thing, looking over everything, the young guys. I want to stay in hockey. This is what I know. I did some color for 'Hockey Night in Canada' and I enjoyed it. I wouldn't do it forever, but maybe that could be something I could do while waiting for something else. Opportunities will come, but I'd definitely love to stay here."


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