Senators goalie carousel spins on
Brodeur, 26, distantly related to New Jersey Devils goalie
Maybe Brodeur's luck is changing.
His first start came last month against Minnesota, the day after the Wild's equipment truck caught fire and most of the players were obliged to break-in new gear. (This was basically as close to "guaranteed win night" as you get in the NHL.) Then he lucked into a match against the Rangers, a team that --
Nice. But now the story starts to slope towards irony.
Brodeur was supposed to go the University of Wisconsin. Full ride. The works. Then two weeks before he was to head off to school, the university learned of a newspaper account that documented Brodeur playing one period in each of two exhibition games in the Western Hockey League.
"I was told before I played (those exhibitions) that it isn't an issue and shouldn't be an issue," said Brodeur, an Albertan who had been playing Junior A but thought he might be good enough for the jump to major junior. "But the school called me and told me those two periods meant I was ineligible (that season) and I would have to redshirt."
Instead of sacrificing the year, Brodeur, drafted in the seventh round by Chicago in 2003, went as an overage to Moose Jaw. Wisconsin was obliged to scurry to find another goalie at the 11th hour to take Brodeur's place and scholarship. They signed a kid from the Greater Toronto Area named Brian Elliott.
Elliott, Ottawa's ninth-round choice in Brodeur's draft year, went on to be an All-American,
Now, Brodeur might not be the future of Senators, but he could be the immediate present. Leclaire is gone at least a week. Elliott, who started Monday against Boston and Tuesday against Chicago, has been inconsistent. Leclaire has been particularly disappointing considering that general manager
Leclaire often has looked overwrought in goal. He appears to have too many moving parts, as it is called in his business, to be a reliable high-end goalie. His pads sometimes resemble pinball flippers. He leaves rebounds in horrible places for his defensemen. Brodeur appears to be the anti-Leclaire: a 6' 2", 190-pound butterflyer who looks to be a basic puck blocker except for one thing: he seems to swallow pucks rather than deflect them. In three games, he did not litter his end with rebounds.
Since his teens, Brodeur has worked on his technique with the Calgary-based
This is where the story gets really twisted.
The Senators fired Wilson as their goalie coach last week. Now, a goalie coach might have been fired at midseason previously, but no one with whom
There are two theories as to why Wilson was fired:
If Murray indeed had fired Wilson prior to the start of the season, the GM would have been part of the NHL's latest trend. From the start of the 2008-09 season to the beginning of 2009-10, 11 of the 30 teams changed goalie coaches. You can get dizzy watching this carrousel.
After decades of a relatively laissez-faire approach -- the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't have a full-time goalie coach after drafting
The raft of hirings and firings also seems to signal a shift in the very nature of the job. Buffalo goalie coach
Brodeur might prove to be a stabilizing force or another one-month wonder for a team that never seems to get it right. Maybe Wilson's replacement -- head coach
In any case, the firing of Wilson is a reminder the position of goalie coach is all grown up.