NHL Rumors: Martin Brodeur to hit the open market?
When Martin Brodeur told the media that he would likely be back for another season during the Stanley Cup Finals, certainly he would return to the only team he has ever played for, the New Jersey Devils. However, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Marty has hired Pat Brisson, who just pocketed some serious commission on the Sidney Crosby extension, to represent him as he will likely test the open market.
Martin Brodeur very likely to test free agent market. Brodeur has hired Pat Brisson (CAA) to represent him. Bidders get ready!
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2012
Brodeur turned 40 in May and has played for the Devils for nearly two decades. It’s unfathomable to picture him in a different uniform. It’s hard to imagine him wanting to go to free agency for any other reason than the fact that the ownership situation is unstable. But at this point in his career, Brodeur isn’t looking for big money is he?
He may not be, but if New Jersey can’t hang on to Zach Parise and is handcuffed from making moves to build a contender, the future Hall-of-Famer may want to play his swan song season(s) for a team that gives him a better shot at a Stanley Cup. And yes, I understand the irony of this, with Brodeur just coming off an appearance in the Finals.
What team could Brodeur be looking at? The Vancouver Canucks are trying to trade Roberto Luongo because they just paid Cory Schneider, the Boston Bruins just gave Tuukka Rask an extension and have about $2.00 in cap space, the Los Angeles Kings got Jonathan Quick locked up in a hurry and the goaltending situations with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, and St. Louis Blues are all either stable or pretty much unchangeable. As you can see, the list of contenders that need and/or can go out and sign another goalie is pretty short.
However some interesting clubs come up on the short list, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers. Chicago and Washington make lots of sense, as both are perennial playoff teams with boatloads of offensive talent but well-known questions in net. Braden Holtby had an amazing run in the 2012 playoffs, but will the Capitals trust him to repeat that next year? The Blackhawks have said that they’re standing by Corey Crawford and trust him to bounce back, but every organization has to stick up for their guy. It’s possible the Blackhawks want an improvement between the pipes and Marty Brodeur could be a fit, depending on how the Hawks decide to allocate their cap dollars.
I included the Panthers on this list because they took a huge step forward last season and emerged as a division winner and playoff team. While I wouldn’t quite call them a Cup contender, you never know what can happen on July 1 and the Panthers offer not only warmth and sunshine, but a team full of good characters and a positive environment of an up-and-coming team.
I can’t see Brodeur going to a team that isn’t in the hunt for the playoffs unless he really wants to finish his career at home with the Montreal Canadiens. This is highly unlikely because the Habs are working on getting Carey Price signed and Marty would likely have to play second fiddle. With his competitive drive, Brodeur is most certainly looking for a starting job.
With another big fish looking to be on the market, can July 1 get any more interesting? Stay tuned.