The unthinkable may be about to happen. The New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild have agreed on a deal that would send legendary goalie Martin Brodeur to Minnesota, according to a report from the New York Daily News. The deal is pending Brodeur's approval.
With Wednesday's NHL trading deadline looming, a source told the Daily News the Devils and Minnesota have agreed upon a deal that would send the lifelong Devil and future Hall of Famer to the Wild. The deal is pending the approval of Brodeur, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, and, according to the source, wanted one last home game with Devils.
The Wild are denying that a deal has been agreed upon according to Rich Chere of the Ledger.
Talk that Devils have agreed to trade Brodeur to Minny. Wild deny it.— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) March 4, 2014
It does seem rather odd, even in Brodeur's situation, a team would agree to a deal and let an asset play in a game before completing said deal. The risk of injury is very real and could blow things up at that point.
There is a little wrinkle in this deal according to the Daily News report, however, as the Montreal Canadiens could be another possible destination after Brodeur makes what would be his last Devils start on Tuesday.
Another rumored destination -- and possible snag in Brodeur accepting the trade to the Wild -- is Montreal, which put starting goalie and Canadian Olympic star Carey Price on injured reserve Monday. Price is eligible to come back from IR next week, but Brodeur, who is from Montreal and whose late father, Denis, worked as a photographer for the team for years, would be a great insurance policy.
So there's still a lot of moving parts to this, but one way or another, it sounds as though Brodeur's days as a Devil are over. It's hard to believe the 41-year-old netminder who has spent more than 20 seasons with New Jersey would possibly end his career somewhere else.
It's also a bit surprising there is a market for Brodeur, who has struggled mightily this season with the Devils. His save percentage has been in precipitous decline and is at .900 this season after finishing last year with a .901 mark.
If the price is right, Brodeur can probably be solid as a spot starter for a team dealing with injured goalies like the Wild and Canadiens. It still will be strange if and when he finishes his career in another jersey, though.
This will be interesting to watch play out.
Brodeur has appeared in 1,249 games with the Devils and owns a record 683 wins, .912 save percentage, 2.24 goals-against average and 124 shutouts.