Jan 30, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) skates on the ice prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Minnesota Wild Should Not Trade For Martin Brodeur At The Trade Deadline

Jan 26, 2014; New York City, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) reacts during a stoppage in play during the second period of the Stadium Series hockey game against the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

In the lead up to the NHL Trade Deadline 2014, Martin Brodeur has been heavily linked with a trade away from New Jersey and the Minnesota Wild are being touted as a very likely destination. Some Wild fans seem to be excited by this prospect, but they really shouldn’t be, and I’ll tell you why.

 

When the New Jersey Devils made a blockbuster trade during the draft to acquire Corey Schneider, one of the best young goalies in the league, from the Vancouver Canucks, the writing was on the wall that he would be their starter for the foreseeable future. Strangely, Martin Brodeur began the year getting the majority of starts, until his poor form and Schneider’s strong play eventually led to common sense prevailing. It became painfully clear to everyone how much the once great net-minder has declined when he was put to the sword by the New York Rangers in the Stadium Series game.

His play and the amount of games he has been started in has sorely hurt the Devils over the last two years. As an excellent possession team (albeit with a lack of shooting talent) they should have had no problem making last year’s playoffs, and should be cruising this year but for the damage done by his goaltending.

Brodeur seems resistant to the idea of being a rarely seen back-up and has agreed to waive his no-trade clause in hope of getting more starts.

Here’s a quote in an ESPN article from back when Schneider was just beginning to take over the starting job:

“I haven’t changed. I want to play every game. It’s not fun to sit,” Brodeur said, according to the paper. “The body feels good. That’s about it. It’s hard when you’re used to being the guy that is counted on to play and all of a sudden you’re not asked to. It makes it a little hard, but it’s part of the process of getting older.

“Over the last three years I haven’t played as many games, either. It’s somewhat of a transition, but definitely it’s not fun. You don’t play hockey, especially at the age I am, to just sit on the bench and hang out. It was fun [in practice] today, though. I had a blast. But ask me that in two months. I don’t know if I’ll say the same thing.”

So, what about the Wild? Josh Harding could be done for the season, Niklas Backstrom can’t stay healthy and has been terrible over the last two years when he has played, and Darcy Kuemper is playing brilliantly, but there’s no knowing how long it will last and not having an alternative to him is a risky strategy. There are a lot of rental goalies being linked with the Wild.

One of them, Jaroslav Halak, would be an excellent pick-up and is allegedly being shopped to the Wild by the Sabres but, according to the Wild’s beat reporter, Michael Russo, the Wild aren’t particularly interested. The reasons given are that they think he is  benefiting from the Blues’ tight defensive system and that there must be a reason why the Blues wanted Miller so badly. If true, this is a ridiculous line of thinking because Hitchcock’s system has been shown to barely affect a goalie’s save percentage, and Halak succeeded with the Montreal Canadiens before his St.Louis days. The only reasons I can see for not getting Halak is the asking price, his cap hit or his injury history.

 

The Wild are understood to be interested in trading for Brodeur to mentor Kuemper and be the back-up for the rest of the year. Anyone who has seen his 5v5 Sv% over the last few years wouldn’t:

SEASON

AGE

GP

5v5 Sv%

RANK

2005/06

34

73

92.2%

12th/47

2006/07

35

78

92.7%

12th/44

2007/08

36

77

92.8%

11th-T/44

2008/09

37

31

93.3%

5th-T/46

2009/10

38

77

92.4%

16th-T/44

2010/11

39

56

91.2%

34th/43

2011/12

40

59

91.1%

38th-T/44

2012/13

41

29

91.6%

26th/45

2013/14

42

29

89.7%

45th/47

 

  • The above table includes goalies who played at least 1/3 of games each season and I have listed the age Brodeur was/will be at the end of each one.
  • He is going to be 42 in May and is now arguably the worst regular goalie in the NHL.
  • It’s amazing and a testament to how good he was in his prime that he was still putting up great numbers at age 37, but since around 2010, he has declined hard and fast.
  • His puck-handling is often cited as a reason why Brodeur’s save percentage shouldn’t be the only thing used to judge him, but the actual positive effects of his great puck-handling are minimal.

 

I mean no disrespect to Brodeur who is a future Hall Of Famer and one of the greatest players in league history, but in 2014 he should not be on any team’s radar, let alone one needing someone who can help a young goalie carry the load and take over as starter if needs be. Giving up assets for possibly the worst goalie in the league just makes no sense when there are so many other options available, the smartest one being Halak, but even Bryzgalov makes more sense than Marty.

The problem with getting Brodeur is that he will come expecting to play some games and every game he plays could potentially do great harm to the Wild’s playoff push.

 

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Tags: 5v5 Sv% Chuck Fletcher Corey Schneider Darcy Kuemper Fansided Goaltending Gone Puck Wild Illya Bryzgalov Jaroslav Halak Josh Harding Martin Brodeur Minnesota Wild MN Wild New Jersey Devils NHL Niklas Backstrom Trade Deadline 2014 Trade Talk Wild

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