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NHL rumors: Leafs, Penguins among teams interested in Martin Brodeur

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Martin Brodeur is garnering interest from multiple teams as a free agent. (USATSI)
Martin Brodeur is garnering interest from multiple teams as a free agent. (USATSI)

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What is the market for an unrestricted free-agent goaltender likely playing the last season of his career at 42 years old and put up a .901 save percentage last year? Pretty good it sounds like, actually. According to Louis Jean of TVA Sports, goaltender Martin Brodeur's agent says the veteran is garnering interest from as many as six teams.

Jean reports the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are four of the six teams that have shown interest in Brodeur. The record-setting netminder, who is expected to part ways with the New Jersey Devils after more than 20 years with the club, desires going to a contender.

If Brodeur is to go to a perceived contender, it would have to be as a backup who will play sparingly. All of those four teams have established starters that are unlikely to lose their jobs. Another question each of those teams would have to ask is how much they're willing to pay a veteran backup that has been a primary starter his entire career.

Both the Blackhawks and Bruins are under a cap crunch after the $69 million ceiling was announced. Unless Brodeur is willing to play for pennies compared to his prior deals, those don't seem like a real fit. Also, the Blackhawks just re-upped backup goalie Antti Raanta earlier this week.

The Penguins and Maple Leafs may be fits under the cap, but both have a lot of players to re-sign or have more glaring holes at other positions that need to be addressed this offseason.

How Brodeur would perform and handle primarily coming off the bench for a few spot starts is a real question mark as well. He has been well below the league average save percentage over the last four seasons and has been at .901 in each of the last two campaigns. He did take more of a back seat to Cory Schneider last year in New Jersey, but still made 39 appearances in 2013-14. He probably wouldn't see that much action on a team that has a chance at the Stanley Cup next year.

Whether this interest was serious or just cursory from those teams, Brodeur is probably going to find a landing spot that is favorable to his demands, but at least a few of those options don't seem like terribly good fits. He'll be a particularly interesting free agent to watch on July 1.

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