It appears the final chapter of the Martin Brodeur saga has yet to be written. In a
recent interview with ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Brodeur mentioned that he not only wants to play next year, he believes there are some organizations that could utilize him as a No. 1 netminder.
Let’s get this out of the way first. Everyone knows he’s not a star goalie anymore, or even a really good one. For the second straight season, his save percentage sat at .901…the worst of his career. 59 goalies played 21 games or more this year. Martin Brodeur was 51st in save percentage. Of those same 59, he was 55th in save percentage in 5-on-5 play. His GAA was 2.51, his second-worst posting in a season where he played more than 30 games. At this point, he’s a backup and should see backup ice time.
While both Marty and the Devils’ views are worlds apart, I think there is a way for both teams to bridge the gap. For one, Brodeur needs to realize that no one is going to pay him the money he wants. His name alone holds more monetary value than his actual on-ice performance.
Is some team really going to offer him more than a million bucks or so? I can’t see it.And if someone does offer him a “No. 1 role”, is it going to be significantly more playing time than him being a backup with NJ? Let’s briefly look at the teams that have been hot for him the last year or so. Minnesota nearly got him at the deadline. Capgeek says they have just under $23 million to play with in the offseason. Matt Moulson is a free agent, so is Ilya Bryzgalov (if they really want him again). With Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding both under contract next year, I can’t see the Wild spending significant money on a goaltender.
If it’s ONLY about money, the Devils should not let him go. Give him a one-year deal. Overpay him a bit…maybe $2 million or so. Tell him he will get about 25 starts. If he doesn’t go for that, really, what more can the Devils do? And if Marty accepts that, he’ll keep his legend status in that he played for one team in his whole career. There aren’t many stars in any sport who have gracefully accepted a backup position for the betterment of the team. This would only enhance the image of his career.