There's little doubt New Jersey Devils veteran goalie Martin Brodeur will be grabbing much of the attention in the days leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 at 3 p.m. ET.
Would the Devils even consider trading their likely Hall of Fame goalie for some offensive pop if the opportunity became available?
The Devils average 2.29 goals a game to rank 27th in the League. They have yielded 2.34 goals-per game, the fifth-lowest total in the NHL. If anything else, Brodeur gives the Devils added insurance in net if something were to happen to Cory Schneider.
Brodeur said earlier this week he has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause and, for the time being, "nothing has changed."
Goalie - NJD
GAA: 2.52 | SVP: 0.899
What also hasn't changed is Schneider's continued role as the Devils starter. Coach Peter DeBoer
named Schneider his starter for their home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets
on Thursday. It will be his seventh straight start.
DeBoer did acknowledge Brodeur would earn a start at some point this weekend when the Devils face the New York Islanders on Saturday then host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. He hasn't determined, however, which goalie would start what game.
"You'll see both guys through this stretch, but I don't know what the breakdown is going to be," DeBoer said.
Brodeur has been waiting patiently for a spot start since allowing six goals on 21 shots and getting pulled after two periods in a 7-3 loss to the New York Rangers in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26. He is 2-3-2 in his past seven starts with an .881 save percentage. Brodeur's last win was Jan. 14 in a 29-save, 4-1 triumph against the Montreal Canadiens.
"Backup goalies who are used to playing every 15 or 14 days, 10 or eight days between starts, are used to it," Brodeur told Rich Chere of The (Newark) Star-Ledger. "With me, it's definitely hard to get in the rhythm. When you don't play in eight days and then have to play in 15-degree weather outside, it makes it a little harder."
Schneider, who was acquired by the Devils from the Vancouver Canucks at the NHL Draft last June 30 in exchange for a 2013 first-round pick, has started eight of the past nine games. He leads the NHL with a 1.47 goals-against average and .942 save percentage since Jan. 1. The Devils have 23 regular-season games remaining.
DeBoer doesn't hide from the fact Schneider is the hot goalie among the two right now.
"That doesn't change our belief system in Marty Brodeur or what he's done," DeBoer said. "This has nothing to do with history. It's what Brodeur has done for us and for me over the two-and-a-half years I've been here. I'm very aware of how good he's capable of playing and what he's able to do, so they're tough decisions."
Brodeur, 41, played a huge part of the Devils' run to the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings two years ago. He finished 14-9 with a 2.12 GAA, one shutout and a .917 save percentage in 24 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Brodeur, whose contract expires after the season, told reporters Feb. 24 he probably won't request a trade and will leave it up to general manager Lou Lamoriello to ask him to waive his no-trade clause.
"I have no indication one way or the other that anything is going to happen," Brodeur said.
Brodeur, who is the all-time leader among NHL goalies in games played, wins, shutouts and minutes played, said he wouldn't be insulted if he were approached about a trade.
"I don't know what I'd think if [I were approached about a trade]," Brodeur said. "I definitely would like to play more, so if there is a chance somewhere … but I'm not looking for that. I want to make sure this team gets on a playoff run. We'll see what happens, but stranger things have happened."