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Done with Devils? Brodeur ‘definitely’ going to free agency

Jun 6, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT

Martin Brodeur Getty Images

Big news out of New Jersey on Friday as face of the franchise and surefire Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur has announced he’s going to hit free agency.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m definitely going to be available July 1,” Brodeur told ESPN.com. “I want to play one more season and I want to see what’s out there.”

The news comes on the same day New Jersey’s other goalie, Cory Schneider, said he wanted assurances he’d be the clear-cut No. 1 for the Devils after splitting games with Brodeur this year.

Schneider also holds some leverage, given he’s an unrestricted free agent following this season.

“It’s a discussion about if they want me to be the guy going forward, we have to figure out that part of it,” Schneider said, per the Star-Ledger. “I’m probably 50 or 75 games short of where I would have liked to be as far as career games-played. That’s a result of splitting the time in goal in Vancouver as well as last year.

“I was hoping to step into that (No. 1 role) maybe a little earlier.”

Brodeur, 42, has spent his entire 23-year career with the Devils, winning three Stanley Cups and four Vezina Trophies. He’s also the NHL’s all-time leader in games played, wins and shutouts.

In light of all that, it’ll be very interesting to see who takes a chance on Brodeur this summer — or, if someone takes a chance. Brodeur hasn’t ruled out a return to the Devils entirely, but feels the club needs to move forward with Schneider and his presence in New Jersey could make that difficult. As for other teams, Brodeur said he’d accept a No. 2 gig on a team “that has a really good chance to win a Stanley Cup,” and didn’t rule out the possibility of challenging for a starting job elsewhere.

“If I go for a No. 1 job, it’s going to depend on the situation,” he explained. “I think there are teams that can use me.”

Worth noting that teams could be leery of bringing Brodeur on as a No. 2. His presence might make the starter’s life much more difficult, in the sense of fans/media calling for a switch in goal at the first sign of the No. 1 struggling. (This is a variant of the always-popular “put in the backup QB” shout, which is often followed by the “oh, that’s why he’s the backup” shout.)

Regardless, the Brodeur-going-to-market narrative will be a fun one to monitor over the next three weeks.

  1. sgs32 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Is it too optimistic to picture him as the starter in San Jose?

    • blomfeld - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      MAKE READY SCHNEIDER … YOU’RE CHANCE IS ‘FINALLY’ COMING TO FRUITION !

      I say good riddance to Brodeur and clear the slate for the ‘new order’ right now ! :)

      1) Jonathan Quick
      2) Martin Jones
      3) Jonathan Bernier
      4) Cory Schneider :) :) :)
      5) Ben Scrivens

      112) Adam West
      113) Bob Crane
      114) Henrik Lundqvist
      115) Zsa Zsa Gabor

    • ravenscaps48 - Jun 7, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Would love to see him in DC as a backup to Holtby. He’d be a great asset to have in the Locker Room and a great mentor for Braden.

    • chief361 - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      not at all. trade niemi to us (the wild) and have at broduer all you want.

  2. dubblelznhell - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Trade Tokarski and sign Brodeur to back up Carey Price :o

  3. govtminion - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    I just don’t see him getting a starting job somewhere for one season that gives him a Cup chance… maybe five years ago, but certainly not now, not after the past couple of seasons he’s had.

    I hate seeing a legend fade away like this, but… much like Modano a few years ago, it’s over, and the only person who hasn’t figured that out is Brodeur.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Bingo, this screams of Johnny U in a Chargers jersey, Broadway Joe in a Rams jersey, Willie Mays in a Mets uniform, etc. etc. etc. One of the things that made these guys so great is believing in themselves about how great they are, unfortunately they don’t seem to lose that thinking and end up playing in a weird jersey for one last, often disappointing, season.

      • imleftcoast - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        Like Tim Thomas and his 14 colored pads. Brodeur’s starts this season didn’t garner #1 status in NJ. I don’t see anything out, and I’m a big fan of his.

    • joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Maybe he needs the money. Why not test free agency? It’s about what he thinks is best for him.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:30 AM

        If after this many years at that salary he needs the money then one more year of making that money won’t make a difference because he’d likely blow it.

      • joey4id - Jun 7, 2014 at 8:10 AM

        How do you know? Maybe he didn’t blow his money. Maybe he loss a lot of it in a divorce settlement. Or maybe he just wants to play. Either way he can very well do what he wants. How many criticized Howe when he decided to return?

      • govtminion - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:24 AM

        Well, for once joey might have a point. He did just have that divorce a while back (what a mess THAT was), so perhaps he could use an extra few million for riding the pine somewhere next year.

        That’s a guess, I don’t know what the settlement terms were or any of that.

    • dueman - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      If you read the article, it says “Brodeur said he’d accept a No. 2 gig on a team “that has a really good chance to win a Stanley Cup,” and didn’t rule out the possibility of challenging for a starting job elsewhere” – It doesn’t say that he’s looking for a starting gig on a cup contender, because well, like you said…there aren’t any.

      I really don’t see why you say “it’s over, and the only person who hasn’t figured that out is Brodeur” because he had a decent year last year. I think as a number 2 guy, he could help any team in the league…

  4. Windmiller4 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    He should walk away from the game before it walks away from him. I can’t imagine him with a different jersey

  5. desertfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Definetly a Canuck #1 with EDDIE backing-up.

    • hawkeedawg - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:49 AM

      No thanks. I agree with many of the above, it is sad when a sure fire HOF athlete tries for one more year in a different uniform and fails. I am old fashioned guy, you play that long for your entire career for one team, don’t tarnish your legacy, retire.

      2014 Stats as per NHL.com
      39 GP, 19 – 14, Save % .901, 45th overall ranking, GAA 2.51, 26th overall ranking.

      Not NHL #1 numbers, back up at best

  6. bucfanforlife - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    he would start on a lot of teams jets, sharks, canucks, capitals,pens,stars, ducks there are more, the blues should have tried him with allen over elliot

    • c9castine - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      why the hell would he start for the pens or ducks.

      • chief361 - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        i don’t get all the speculation surrounding the ducks’ net either. as a wild fan, i’d love to be in the position the ducks are right now, goal-tending-wise. any team that has enough goalie depth to let jonas hiller walk is in no need of brodeur or miller.

        i also don’t understand why the sharks are apparently giving up on niemi. i’d take niemi as a starter in a second as opposed to backstrom. everyone loves the harding story and it’s reported that he’ll be ready for camp but, realistically, unless management does something this summer, the goal-tending will continue to be the wilds’ pitfall.

        as for fluery, i think his time is done with the pens even though i wouldn’t blame him solely for their exit this year.

      • c9castine - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        agree with everything else but your fleury assessment has no backbone to it.

        probably why it took once sentence.

  7. clayman61 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Well said windmiller4..

  8. 950003cups - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    He said he was going to FA a while ago. It’s nothing new. He went to FA last time around.

  9. calden99 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Pittsburgh would be a great fit I think

  10. bleedrangerblue - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    @dubble. Sorry but your comment is the most stupid its thing I’ve ever read. Trade Tokarski?? So you can sign FATSO?? Let’s regress 20 years. Good idea. Brodeur is done. And you should watch baseball.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Nice Expos joke.

  11. hockeyornothing - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Brodeur won’t be done

  12. hockeyornothing - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Hey bucfanforlife. Why would you possibly take Brodeur over Elliot? Why put Allen thru a circus. Everyone seems to forget way too quick that Els and Halak just won the Jennings. Oh and yeah Miller did them wonders too. Grass isn’t always greener

  13. savior72 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Miller is your next starting goaltender Jersey.

    • govtminion - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:22 AM

      …Why in the nine hells would they sign Miller when they have Schneider? Come on man, that doesn’t even make sense.

      • 950003cups - Jun 7, 2014 at 8:43 AM

        I’m sure he was joking

  14. gbatap - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Modano did this and regretted it. If Broker wants to play at least his team still wants him.

  15. savior72 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    ^^^^^^^ yeah what hockeyornothing just said

  16. barkar942 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Ok. Lou doesn’t like players telling him what to do. So, Schneider gets traded back to Vancouver for Kessler. Miller is signed by Lou to be the Devils starter, and Marty signs in Edmonton for his final useless season.
    Whacha’ think, Cups? Sounds totally possible to me!

  17. muckleflugga - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    thank you for the illuminating insight joey … i’m well and truly awestruck

    who would have thought brodeur should make career decisions based on what’s best for brodeur …?

    ground-breaking material that

    • c9castine - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:12 AM

      the IQ level on here is frightening.

      i dont think i can handle much more. maybe ill come back next year. people seem a lot less stupid at the beginning of the year.

      say something, say anything. and watch the weather change.

  18. flyboystransport - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Total shame. A sure hall of famer and it would’ve been cool to see him retire a devil. Would still work as a back up somewhere. …..

  19. guitarisgood4u - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    Maybe he just wants to keep playing hockey. Is that too hard for anyone to fathom?

  20. anthj99 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:08 AM

    Schneider said, “I’m probably 50 or 75 games short of where I would have liked to be as far as career games-played. That’s a result of splitting the time in goal in Vancouver as well as last year.”

    Sounds like the me first kinda guy that every team loves to have. I get that he wants to play, but no mention of his team competing for the cup, just chasing personal stat lines.

    • sheapuck - Jun 9, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      So Marty hasn’t been a me first type of player his whole career, demanding to play 75+ games each season even as he got older? This was a major reason why he looked so bad in the playoffs the last few years. He still wanted to play most of the games and when it came time for the big games, he looked tired.

  21. hockeyornothing - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I understand what you’re saying but

  22. hockeyornothing - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    I understand what you’re saying but with all the drama Schneider has been thru can you blame him? Probably feels like he has to protect himself but you might be right. Maybe that’s why team didn’t play as well in front of him early on.

  23. billiam55 - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Minnesota could use him!

  24. gbart22 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Schneider does come off as very me first but hey I’d trade him as I never liked the guy and I hated the trade for him to begin with so if Vancouver wants him back Kessler and horvat for Schneider :-) maybe shattenkirk instead of horvat.

  25. jacketsfan7 - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    At this point he’s a backup at best, maybe I see the wild or stars signing him as a backup

  26. oruacat2 - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Good luck, Marty.

    Now, Devils, take that $5mil and find someone who can score.

  27. 48colorrainbow - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    I’m probably sounding like a stick-in-the-mud conservative, but it would be sad to see Brodeur in another team’s jersey (and I am not even a Devils fan).

  28. jason9696 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    I hope it doesn’t happen or it’s going to be like seeing Ray Bourque in an Avalanche jersey all over again.

  29. pjblake2redwings - Jun 9, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Uncle Daddy is broke!!!

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