Cory Schneider is the man for the New Jersey Devils.
Since entering the NHL in 1991-92, Martin Brodeur has seen it all. Except maybe for three consecutive games on the bench. In the eyes of the living legend and sure-fire Hall of Famer, he’s no longer the No. 1 goaltender. He’s given his blessing—or at least his public support—to the Devils, who will be icing Schneider for the third time in a row when they take on the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow.
Fire and Ice quoted Brodeur on several issues today, including the fact that he’d seemingly been relegated to backup duty. While some goalies would go down kicking and screaming, Brodeur was as classy as always when addressing the matter:
I think he’s in the net now to stay. I don’t see that’s going to be changed any time soon. I’ll be ready if it is, but I think we’ve got to try to win some games somehow.
The 41 year-old gets it, and his perspective on the matter is invaluable and enlightening. He went on to say that ““I hate not playing. That’s the bottom line. I play hockey to play hockey, not to watch and practice. But, I’m happy it happens at 41 and not at 27.”
There’s your money quote right there.
The veteran of 1,224 NHL games and owner of various records and Stanley Cup rings has done it all in this business, and he understands that his time in the spotlight may be coming to a slow close. He hasn’t lost a bit of the humility that has made him so special over the years though.
This headline compared to the ones that litter the front pages of NBA and NFL sites is what makes hockey so incredible and the people in it so outstanding. Brodeur has been replaced. There’s really no other way to look at the issue. Unlike athletes elsewhere though, he’s able to bow out with class and prove once and for all that few have ever combined talent and class like Marty.