I think fans think too much about 'how a player goes out' - it's his life, and if he wants to continue playing NHL hockey (at least for the Devils), that's how he's going to have to do it.
Starting to feel like you're going into "Being contrary for the sake of being contrary" mode.
I said myself it's his legacy to do with as he sees fit. But it shouldn't be too difficult for you to understand why it would seem odd why a guy like Marty would want to go out as a 42-year-old backup who, when he does get on the ice, will likely be a shell of his former self. With the exception of his first full year, where the Devils broke him in initially by rotating him with Terreri, he has been the unquestioned #1 guy going into every season, and from '95-'96 to '09-'10, he was basically an absolute lock to start 70+ games, barring injury. He has relished being the number #1 guy who plays in as many games as possible...we heard in recent seasons how the Devils were going to cut back his games, and it took him declining for it to finally happen. His detractors have even called him selfish and his desire to play and play and play some more a detriment.
For the first time in his career, he is going into a new season as the tentative #1, and I feel pretty strongly he will fight hard to keep his #1 status for as long as he possibly can (which sadly may not be very long). He may very well lose his "THE MAN" status as early as November, but it sure won't be because he didn't battle for it.
And I don't think that, even if he is willing to become a 20-game backup come 2014-15, that it will necessarily translate to a different kind of success for him. For one, that's not something he's ever had to do in the NHL. For another, if his skills are eroding as they appear to be, I don't know how playing less games is somehow going to stave his decline off. Does anyone want to see Marty come in every 5 or 6 games or so and struggle mightily doing it? Would Marty want that? Those 20 games will be important too...it's not like the Devils will be in the position to just give Marty 20 games at low cost, just because he insists he still wants to play.
Of course, if this season turns out to be a bottoming-out one for Marty, performance-wise, the above becomes moot. It's more if he turns in a season like last year's, or one slightly worse than that, and he makes it clear that, yes, I know my time as the Devils #1 is up, but I think I can be a backup here for at least another year, and I'm willing to do it at a relatively low cost. What do the Devils do then?
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 02 July 2013 - 06:19 AM.