With the Devils now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs -- rendering the remaining three games of the season essentially meaningless -- and another pair of matches at home in Newark’s Prudential Center, that would seem to set a stage for Brodeur’s last hurrah as a Devil.
But coach Pete DeBoer was mum about his plans beyond Thursday night.
When asked about the possibility, Brodeur said he hasn’t given it that much thought.
“I might have played my last game here. Who knows?” he told reporters on Thursday. “We’ll see. It’s something we’ll have to talk about.”
The 41-year-old veteran, who has been outspoken and somewhat critical about his long-time club recently, is expected by many to continue playing after the expiry of his current contract with the Devils.
Brodeur told local reporters on Thursday that he plans to explore the market as a free agent this summer. He also admitted that he won’t be surprised if the Devils are not among the list of suitors for his services.
“I don’t expect them to come running after me.” Broduer said.
The future Hall of Famer surrendered the No. 1 job to Cory Schneider with a lackluster performance this season. He was 18-14-5 with a .900 save percentage and 2.54 goals against average for the Devils, who narrowly missed the playoffs just two years after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
Had they won just half of their shootouts, they’d have had a fighting chance. But that, combined with their goal-starved offense (25th in the league with 2.42 goals per game), put them behind the eight-ball in the Eastern Conference.
Playing Brodeur as much as he did, despite heir apparent Cory Schneider’s seemingly-superior play may also have been a mistake.
Will he be around next year for a similar dilemma?
“Regardless of if I stay or leave," Brodeur said. "The Devils are in unbelievable hands with [Schneider].”