The relationship between Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils would have never been the same if he were allowed to finish his career with a different logo on his chest. Brodeur, who has led the team to their only three Stanley Cups, agreed to a two-year, $9 million contract Monday to stay with the only team he has ever known.
The Devils stepped up to add an additional year to the contract, ultimately making the decision easy for Brodeur.
”The Devils weren’t ready for a little while to (add a second year),” he said. ”When they were able to get it done, that made the decision pretty easy.”
When it became evident the length of the deal was going to be a sticking point for Brodeur, the Devils had to do the right thing by their franchise goalie. A potential lockout was the driving force behind Brodeur’s desire for a second year and general manager Lou Lamoriello was right in stepping up. Two years means stability and the assurance that there will be somewhere for him to play when all is said and done.
I believe the way New Jersey saw it, signing a 40-year-old more than year was a bit risky. Good thing for them Brodeur is not your typical 40-something male.
This past season Brodeur posted a 31-21-4 record with three shutouts and a .908 save percentage. He led the Devils back to the playoffs after missing out the previous year for the first time since 1996. He excelled in the postseason, collecting a 14-9 record with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in leading the sixth-seeded Devils to its first Eastern Conference Championship since 2003.
Brodeur will go down s one of the greatest netminder’s to ever play in the NHL. He has a career record of 656-371-105, all with the Devils. He also has three Stanley Cups, winning in 1995, 2000 and 2003. He is only 44 wins away from winning 700 career games and now we know he will definitely do it as a member of the Devils.
Even if the Devils were reluctant to bring back an aging goalie for more than one year, adding the second year to retain Brodeur’s service was an easy decision. He means so much to the franchise and the fan base. Sometimes it’s not about numbers and years, sometimes it’s about loyalty and trust. The Devils and Brodeur have both for eachother.
“Marty” finally can take his seat at the throne of the greatest New Jersey Devil to ever wear the horned “N-J” on his chest. Right where he belonged all along.
The Devils also made sure Brodeur would have a capable back-up by bringing back Johan Hedberg.
Just hours after reaching an agreement with Brodeur, the Devils also announced that Hedberg, 39, had signed his own two-year deal worth $1.4 million per season. Both deals feature no-trade clauses.
He was 17-7-2 with four shutouts and a 2.23 goals-against in 27 games in the back-up role for New Jersey last season. The return of “Moose” solidifies the Devils in net for the next couple of seasons while allowing the clubs goalie prospects some more time to hone their skills in the minors.
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