|Brodeur has spent his entire Hall of Fame career in New Jersey. (Getty Images)|
When it came time to look at the free-agent goaltender class for this summer, one potential free agent's name was missing despite being arguably the greatest goaltender of all time. That's because nobody in their right mind would ever think that Martin Brodeur would play anywhere but New Jersey .
Ummm, might be time to revist that idea.
Martin Brodeur very likely to test free agent market. Brodeur has hired Pat Brisson (CAA) to represent him. Bidders get ready!— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2012
Brodeur has had limited contract discussions with Devils. Could still sign before Sunday, but leaning now toward open market.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2012
To further substantiate Dreger's report, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com quoted Brodeur's new agent Brisson -- the same man who represents Sidney Crosby -- as saying "He will be testing free agency if a deal is not in place by Sunday."
Martin Brodeur finishing his career in anything but a Devils sweater is sacrilege. It's heresy. But if Brodeur has hired an agent now, something he hasn't had to do in a long time, then this is either one serious bluff or he's seriously looking at going to free agency and listening.
The first thought that has to come to mind as soon as the shock passes you by is how bad is the situation in New Jersey really? If they can't re-sign Brodeur then what chance do they have to get Zach Parise under a new deal?
Further, it's not like the Devils have a comfortable situation in goal without Brodeur. His backup Johan Hedberg , is nearly 40 himself and is also a free agent. So if Brodeur walks, all of a sudden the Devils are looking to find a new starting goalie and possibly a new backup too?
Adding to that, what kind of market would there be for Brodeur? Most teams have the starting goaltender situation covered and he's not going to somewhere that is not New Jersey where he won't be the starter. It's just not going to happen.
When all is said and done, I still do not see Brodeur playing for anybody but the Devils. It would be a major blow to the franchise in a lot of ways and it would also take a little luster off Brodeur's career. It wouldn't diminish anything he's done but it would just be sad to see him playing out the string in, say, a Blackhawks sweater.