The New Jersey Devils might have lost star left-winger Zach Parise during the offseason, but they made sure to re-sign both goaltenders in Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg. The problem? Brodeur is 40 years old and Hedberg is 39 years old.
That being said, they must find a younger goalie in the offseason that they can see becoming a starter in the next few years. Brodeur might be one of the best goaltenders to have ever played the game, but the older he gets, the less agile he'll get, and he will need to be replaced.
After he signed his two-year, $9 million contract, Brodeur said that he's still not sure whether he'll be ready to leave the NHL in two years, but that it's definitely a possibility.
"At the end of the day, this is what I wanted all along," Brodeur said in a conference call. "Circumstances happen sometimes in life that I can't control, and I can't say it won't happen again, but I am happy, and two years seems appropriate for me maybe to leave the game at that time. But I am not 100 percent sure. Again, we'll [see] how I feel and how well I am able to play."
With uncertainty around the corner for the New Jersey Devils in a couple of years, General Manager Lou Lamoriello must be on the lookout for younger talent. Brodeur and Hedberg should be mentoring a younger goaltender so that when he gets older, he can be the face of the Devils' franchise.
In May, New Jersey signed 19-year-old Scott Wedgewood. He was the 84th overall pick in the 2010 draft, went 2-0-0 during the 2012 World Junior Championships where his Team Canada won a bronze medal and spent the past four seasons with Plymouth (OHL), where he finished with a 28-10-3 record and three shutouts.
Wedgewood signed a $1.92 million entry-level contract and just might be the young talent that the New Jersey Devils need. It's unclear as to whether or not he'll start any games for New Jersey, but if this young guy can bring the success he's had in the OHL and Junior Olympics with him to the NHL, he could be the young goaltender that New Jersey is looking for.