Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will have surgery Thursday morning to repair a torn distal biceps tendon in his left elbow and will miss three to four months, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning.
Lamoriello said Brodeur is expected to make a full recovery and should make it back in time for the end of the regular season. The surgery will be performed by a specialist, Dr. Steven Beldner, with the assistance of team orthopedist, Dr. Barry Fisher.
"It could take anywhere from three to four months," Lamoriello said.
I hope to have some comments from Brodeur later today. Brodeur has never missed more than six games in a row due to injury.
"This is not a career-ending injury," Lamoriello said. "This is a bump in the road. (He'll have) a total recovery, 100 percent and with this type of surgery there is no doubt about and I have total confidence that he will be back in a short period of time. That's not a long period of time. Would we want it to be less? Absolutely, but it is what it is at this given time and you go forward. There are other injuries that could have been worse. Not that you want any. But I look at the positive side."
Brodeur was injured in the second period of Saturday's 6-1 win over Atlanta. He fully extended his left arm to try to make a catching glove save on a shot that went wide and immediately grabbed his left elbow afterward. The Devils initially said it was a bruised elbow.
Lamoriello said he didn't know if this injury occurred at that moment or if it was a wear and tear thing that built up over time.
"It's something you never know if it occurred at that moment," Lamoriello said. "He feels fine right now. He has no swelling. He has no anything. No black and blue. He's gone through an extensive diagnosis over the last couple of days with MRIs so there was no chance of anything. The decision made this morning was to go ahead and we're all totally comfortable it's the right decision."
Kevin Weekes, who now takes over as the Devils' No. 1 goaltender, had surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon in his left arm this summer. Lamoriello was unsure if this is the same tendon.
"I couldn't say it's the exact same thing because they're all different," Lamoriello said.
This could be devastating for the Devils season.
"When you have a Marty Brodeur as a goaltender and he's out for a significant amount of time sure it certainly gives you a knot in your stomach, but you have move forward," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "I'm confident and I trust the players here that they will do what needs to be done to move forward."
"Injuries are part of the game," Lamoriello said. "There's no question Martin Brodeur is an integral part of our team. This is where other people have opportunities. Other people have to step up, but you don't approach it any other way. I still feel strongly about our team. We'll be getting some people part shortly, but the people in that locker room right now have more than the abilities to do what's necessary to have success."
This was to be a historic season for Brodeur. He's still eight wins away from breaking Patrick Roy's record of 551 career wins. Now that will be put on hold for a while.
"It still can be," Sutter said. "Again hopefully things will work out with the healing process and a lot of things can still happen for him this year. If not, it can happen for him next year. It's inevitable it's going to happen. We all know that. Marty's still got lots left in his tank. This is the first significant injury he's had. That's pretty remarkable for the amount he plays."
Sutter said Lamoriello told him about the severity of Brodeur's injury after this morning's brief practice.
"I didn't really know (what to expect) because there was a process that we went through with the extent of the injury with doctors and so forth," Sutter said. "I guess when you're going through that, you're always in the back of your mind that it might be a little more significant that you wanted. And yet when reality hits you, it's like 'OK this is finally happening now.' This is the finalization and you know what's going on and now let's start putting a plan in place and start moving forward."
Sutter said he told Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner the bad news, but most of the other players had already gone home for the day.
Lamoriello said he does not feel the need to trade for another goaltender. Weekes will start Wednesday night's game against Tampa Bay.
Expect Scott Clemmensen to get a start as soon as this weekend -probably Sunday against Edmonton.