This week’s notable blogosphere trade rumors center upon the goaltending of the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets.
It’s obvious future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur is reaching the end of his long, stellar career. He’s acknowledged this season could be his last, though suggested he’ll consider playing one more depending on his performance in this one, as well as the possibility of another lockout.
This rumor suggests, however, if Brodeur “doesn’t see” it’s the end of his career and won’t retire, “it’s time to ship him out,” perhaps to a team like the Panthers. In theory, Florida would love to have a teacher for young Jacob Markstrom, as well as help to draw fans with Brodeur’s “legendary status.”
First of all, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello won’t trade Brodeur. Period. It’s expected Brodeur will have a place in the Devils front office once his playing career ends. It also makes no sense to break up the current tandem of Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, which has been working well since last season.
Assuming for a moment Brodeur wanted to return for another season and the team wanted to go in another direction, all they would have to do is simply not re-sign the long-time Devils starter this summer when Brodeur will become an unrestricted free agent.
As for the Panthers, they already have their “tutor” for Markstrom in Jose Theodore, who is signed through next season at an affordable $1.5 million cap hit.
If the Panthers want to attract more fans, all they have to do is carry their strong early performance throughout the remainder of this season. Winning, not the addition of a fading star, draws fans.
The Blue Jackets continue to flounder, in part because of goaltender Steve Mason’s struggles.
Mason has the worst goals-against average (3.67) and save percentage (.875) of all starting goalies this season, leading to speculation the Blue Jackets will pursue an upgrade between the pipes.
This rumor had the Jackets talking to the Winnipeg Jets about Chris Mason or perhaps with the San Jose Sharks for Antero Niittymaki.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff stated a couple of times last month he had no plans to shake up his roster, so if we take him at his word it makes no sense for him to deal away his backup to the Jackets.
As for Niittymaki, he’s been on injured reserve following hip surgery since Oct. 5 and isn’t expected to return to action until sometime in December. If the Blue Jackets are seeking depth between the pipes right now, it’s illogical for them to acquire someone who won’t be available for at least another month.
Trade Talk addresses the biggest rumors being discussed online and appears weekly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.