Martin Brodeur asking for one last start in front of New Jersey Devils fans before putting on a Minnesota Wild jersey for the rest of the season would be so typical of the waning-years Marty we’ve come to know.
It’s an ego-feeding moment; a chance to receive the celebration of his legacy that Brodeur has so carefully protected by not overtly demanding a trade out of a dilemma the Devils created. Brodeur has never wanted to be the one to sever ties with the only franchise he’s known, to be the one that Doesn’t Retire A Devil. So, at the very least, he gets to say goodbye.
But if reports are correct, Brodeur’s start against the Detroit Red Wings at Prudential Center will be his curtain call. From the NY Daily News, citing its sources:
With Wednesday’s NHL trading deadline looming, a source told the Daily News the Devils and Minnesota have agreed upon a deal that would send the lifelong Devil and future Hall of Famer to the Wild. The deal is pending the approval of Brodeur, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, and, according to the source, wanted one last home game with the Devils.
Minnesota and Montreal have been the only two destinations Brodeur’s been mentioned with, seeing as how his twin sons, Jeremy and William, attend Minnesota’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s School and his familial ties to the Canadiens. The Wild want a veteran in the mix as an insurance policy for rookie goalie Darcy Kuemper.
For what it’s worth, Devils beat writer Rich Chere is skeptical about this curtain call appearance:
Idea that Devils would trade Brodeur and allow him to play a "home farewell" is ridiculous.
— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) March 4, 2014
Sure, of course it is … until you realize the team and the player involved. Lou Lamoriello is loyal to a fault. Marty Brodeur doesn’t want to look like the bad guy. The entire thing smacks of “will you go?” and “of course, but I’d like to say goodbye to the fans and would be willing to go if given the chance” and “anything for you MAAAAAAHTY.”
In any event, Tuesday night’s game against the Red Wings could be one of the most surreal nights in Devils’ history: Whether a deal is done, pending or in the works, it could be the last time the personification of New Jersey hockey wears the horned ‘NJ’ in the NHL.