It’s a question that’s been asked more loudly in every passing season, as Brodeur gets older and the Devils look to transition into the next phase of their franchise.
It’s been answered in the form of Cory Schneider, acquired by New Jersey from the Vancouver Canucks for the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (used on Bo Hovart).
Schneider is 27; Brodeur is 41. As Devils President Lou Lamoriello said, Cory Schneider is both the present and the future of the team.
But is Brodeur still the starting goaltender for the New Jersey Devils?
“He’s going to have to fight me for it," said Brodeur on TSN.
"Marty is still a No. 1 goalie. No question there,” said Lamoriello, hours after he completed the NHL Draft day trade on Sunday.
The Devils president said he hadn’t alerted Brodeur about the trade before it was announced.
Was Brodeur surprised?
“A little bit. We didn’t expect that," Brodeur said on TSN after the draft.
Lamoriello said that he’s had conversations in the past with Brodeur about transitioning to a smaller number of starts for the star goalie.
Schneider would provide that relief; but much like he was in Vancouver with Roberto Luongo, he could be a goaltender that could potentially overtake Brodeur if he outplays him.
“It’s going to be a different role as I get older," said Brodeur.
The last time Brodeur shared significant time with a goaltender in the New Jersey Devils’ net was his rookie year, 1993-94, when 29-year-old Chris Terreri started 44 games to Brodeur’s 47.
Does Brodeur need a push at age 41?
“Marty doesn’t need anyone to push him. He competes against himself,” said Lamoriello.
“I don’t worry about Marty looking over his shoulder. He’s too much of a professional. He’ll help Cory as much as anybody will.”
If Brodeur’s sour about the Schneider trade, it was tempered by the Devils trading for the LA Kings’ seventh round pick (No. 210) and picking Brodeur’s son Anthony, a goalie for Shattuck-St. Mary's School.