Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

End of an Era?

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

End of an Era?

Article excerpt

NEWARK - The Devils gathered at Prudential Center on Monday morning for their end-of-season team photo and then headed off into a long summer of uncertainty.

After missing the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, there are many questions to be answered. General manager Lou Lamoriello already dealt with one by saying that coach Pete DeBoer and his assistants will be back next season.

That gives him a head start on what might be one of the most difficult off-seasons of his 27 years in New Jersey. Here are some of the other pivotal questions to be answered:

Will Martin Brodeur be back?

After 20 seasons, 688 wins and three Stanley Cups with the Devils, Brodeur, who will turn 42 on May 6, plans to explore the unrestricted free-agent market beginning July 1 and see what other opportunities are out there. Cory Schneider will be the Devils' No. 1 goaltender next season. If Brodeur, who could also retire, does come back, it will be as Schneider's backup.

For the Devils to fully commit to Schneider, they probably can't have Brodeur on the roster, but Lamoriello wasn't ready to say that Monday.

"I'm thinking of a lot of things right now and I have to just sit down with Marty and have a discussion," Lamoriello said.

Will Schneider commit to the Devils?

Lamoriello gave up the ninth overall pick in last June's draft to acquire Schneider, 28, from Vancouver to be Brodeur's successor. His contract is up after next season, though, so getting him signed to an extension this summer (it's not permitted under the CBA until July 1), is "right on the top of the list" of Lamoriello's off- season priorities.

Will Jaromir Jagr re-sign?

The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer led the team with 67 points (24 goals, 43 assists) and has said multiple times he'd like to come back next season, but was far less committal about it Monday. The big minutes he'd get to play and his preference not to change teams again - he has played for four teams the past three seasons - work most in the Devils' favor. …

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