Friday morning, TSN reported that future Hall of Famer, Martin Brodeur, had hired agent Pat Brisson. If the Devils do not agree to a deal by July 1, Brodeur will explore the open market.
This is shocking news in the hockey world. The fact that Brodeur is even contemplating leaving New Jersey is absolutely stunning. Couple this news with the news of Shane Doan and the uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes ownership and we have the possibility of two iconic figures moving for the first time in their careers this summer.
Martin Brodeur has been the literal face of the New Jersey Devils since his rookie year in 1994. Likewise, Doan has been the face of the Phoenix Coyotes since their purchase of the Winnipeg Jets. In Doan’s defense, he has no idea where the franchise will be in the coming years.. literally. The franchise is so unstable, they could be on the move at any point in the near future. I’m sure Doan would like to choose his next destination, rather than be moved on command of the league. So what’s the purpose of Brodeur contemplating leaving his beloved Devils?
I believe it’s the simple fact that the management hasn’t made great strides to sign him yet. He may feel as if they’re not sure they trust his compete level in the next couple years.. he is 40 years of age. On the other hand, New Jersey did not use any of their draft choices on a goaltender. Having said that, the Devils have difficulty staying under the cap in the past few years.
Adding to a financial issue, the team’s heart and soul, Zach Parise, is also expected to test free agency. To me, it seems as though they’re going to have to make an effort at either one or the other. Parise won’t be signed before July 1, so I believe Brodeur follows suit. New Jersey’s management will definitely want to lock up their core player.. much to the dismay of Martin Brodeur. Assuming Brodeur is going to look to finish his career off elsewhere, where does he fit best?
Unfortunately for Brodeur, there isn’t a crazy market for goalies north of 40 years. Fortunately for Toronto, there may be room for an accomplished goaltender like Marty. I don’t see the Leafs trading for Luongo and is mammoth of a contract, as the length of it would bring Scrivens and Reimer both into their early 30s, so Marty could be the solution in Toronto.
Again, Brodeur is 40 years old and has one, maybe two, years left in him. This seems to be the ideal time frame for Reimer/Scrivens to season their skills and really learn from a legend like Brodeur. There seems to be two goaltenders, now on the market, that fit the plan in Toronto: Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur. With Thomas, the Leafs have to trade assets to their division rivals. However, it could be an opportunity to swap contracts, whereas in signing Brodeur, the Leafs are taking on another salary. This could handcuff the team’s ability to acquire other assets for the summer, depending on the terms of the deal.
I don’t see the Leafs making a move on Brodeur before they address other needs and unloading some contracts. But if Brodeur is somehow still lurking on the open market later on in the summer, expect Toronto to make a move.
Say what you may, but Brodeur proved in his last playoff run that he can still play at a very high level. And unlike Luongo, Brodeur won`t be looking to stick around for 5+ years. So if you bring in Marty, you bring in chance to succeed and you bring in an incredible mentor for Reimer/Scrivens. But most of all. for us Leaf fans, it brings genuine excitement and a real reason to get excited for the season!
But the most important variable to consider in signing any free agent, is selling your team. What benefits Marty if he comes to Toronto? Well, much like every other Canadian, Burke`s primary sales pitch will be that Marty could end his career in Canada.. in the greatest hockey market on the planet! Burke would also make the argument that last year, we were a goaltender short of being a contending playoff team. We have scoring, now we just need that dependable man between the pipes. And like any great player, he will likely make the pitch that he has the chance to be the saviour of the city.. only adding to a phenomenal legacy.