While the NHL free agency market is cooling down a bit in its third week, there’s one player who doesn’t appear to be getting any calls at all despite being a sure-fire Hall of Famer: goalie Martin Brodeur.
Brodeur, who essentially owns almost all league goaltending records, has yet to even receive a contract offer. The 42-year-old netminder has played for 21 seasons, all with the New Jersey Devils. However, it was determined a few months back that the two parties would be going their separate ways. The Devils have since resigned starting goalie Cory Schneider. Brodeur, though, has made zero progress in finding himself a new team.
Though the offseason is only nearing its midway point, you have to wonder just how long Brodeur is going to have to wait before he starts getting into serious talks with another team, or if he’ll even get an offer at all.
It’s a weird thing to say when you’re talking about someone as prolific as Brodeur. He’ll go down as arguably the greatest goalie to ever play the game, with an almost insurmountable pile of accomplishments.
The problem, however, is the fact that stats don’t lie, and Brodeur’s weren’t pretty last year. His GAA of 2.51 in just 39 games was his highest since 2005-06. He played in ten more games last season than he did in the year before, but allowed 31 more goals. Again, though, what would you expect for a 21-year vet past the age of 40?
However, this may be the issue holding Brodeur back from any potential offers. His age and declining stats are there for everyone to see, but the vibe around the league is he’s looking to start next year. I get it; someone with Brodeur’s credentials would likely find the idea of job-hunting for a backup gig as insulting. But, you also have to understand why there isn’t a line of teams outside his front door wanting to sign a past-his-prime goalie as their starter.
Brodeur will eventually get calls, it’s just a matter of when. Odds are strong a team will endure an injury to their starting netminder, forcing them to reach out to a patiently waiting Brodeur. At the same time, will it be worth it for him? Is Brodeur skating off the ice at the end of this past season wearing the only jersey he’s ever donned the lasting memory hockey fans want of him? Or would we rather see the freakish site of him wearing some other club’s sweater and further proving the fact he has barely anything left in the tank?
Pride is always tough to swallow, especially for athletes as accomplished as Brodeur. He fully believes he can still be a starter in the NHL. Odds are strong, though, this belief is a false one. I think everyone would love to see Brodeur prove doubters wrong, but it’s just tough to believe he can do so.
Brodeur recently stated that, at the end of his career, he’d love to work with the Devils organization in some capacity. Honestly, it’d be best to start leaning towards this scenario now. Not to say he isn’t a capable starter, I just think nobody will want to see Brodeur tarnish a sparkling career by playing one year too many.