What Does Scott Clemmensen's Breakout Year Mean for the Rest of His Career?

Phil DeHavenCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2009

When the New Jersey Devils had their All-Star net minder Martin Brodeur go down Nov. 1 with a torn bicep, the future looked dark for the Devils.

However, out of that darkness came Scott Clemmensen, ready and eager to help the Devils keep their season alive.

Although the Devils lost five of the first six games without Marty, the Devils have found a way to win yet again and are now considered a threat in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.

Clemmensen left the Devils last year after signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he did not perform well with the Maple Leafs, he was demoted to the AHL, where he was outstanding.

The Maple Leafs decided not to re-sign him last off-season and the Devils decided to bring back Scott because they knew his potential.

He was drafted in 1997 as an eighth-round pick and had been living in Marty's shadow for the previous nine years.

So when Marty went down and the Devils gave Clemmensen a shot to lead the Devils, he took complete control.

As of New Year's Day, he had a 2.23 GAA, fifth among the NHL's regular goalies and he had stopped 92.3 percent of the shots he has faced.

Martin Brodeur is scheduled to return sometime in February. In reality, we all know that when Marty does come back, he will regain his starting spot as the Devils' goalie.

This will create a big problem for the Devils. What will they do with Scott Clemmensen?

Clemmensen will be a free agent after this season and will be a valuable player for any playoff contending team looking for a goalie at the trade deadline.

If the Devils look to trade Clemmensen at the deadline, they could ask for a first-round draft pick or a prospect. The Devils could also look to sign Clemmensen to a contract extension, since Marty is getting old.

Clemmensen will probably want to get a starting spot on a team after this year so the probability that he will return to the Devils is low, if anything.

But, will the Devils try to trade Clemmensen knowing how Marty may still be trying to recover from his injury? We will find out at the trade deadline.

Until then... GO DEVILS!!!