Since it doesn’t appear that Martin Brodeur is going to fade off into the sunset and enjoy the numerous accolades he so richly deserves just yet, the question becomes where can he go play?
We’ll start with some basic assumptions:
- He wants to play or a team who is going to win at least half their games as is.
- He wants to play for a team who might not have a legitimate number one goaltender.
- He wants to be penciled in for for 25-30 starts minimum to start the season.
- He wants to hit 700 wins, this year.
- A defensive system that favors goaltending is the ideal landing spot.
Those five points eliminate a lot of teams. Towards the top of the heap the Kings, Rangers, Bruins, and towards the bottom the Hurricanes, Panthers, Flames, Oilers and not a few more.
The one place where there is both a need and a fit is the Saint Louis Blues. Brian Elliott has done well splitting starts. Jake Allen has one strong AHL season under his belt. Neither has ever proven themselves to be the goaltender that can go out and play fifty five or sixty games and come out with a winning record and strong individual statistics.
If you look above ice level the need grows even more pronounced. General Manager Doug Armstrong and Head Coach Ken Hitchcock have been in place since 2010 and 2011 respectively, and have only made it out of the first round once, that was in the first year. That is not the upward trajectory that keeps people managers and coaches employed in the NHL. Two out of the three years of Hitchcocks tenure as coach they have finished in the bottom half of the playoff teams in goals against. In his career Brian Elliott has a playoff save percentage of .898 and a GAA of 2.55 in 18 games.
Martin Brodeur has almost as many playoff games played as Elliott does regular season games, and stands up wit a career .919 sv% and 2.02 GAA, his last playoff appearance was the New Jersey Devils run to Stanley Cup Finals 24 games played .917sv%.
This is a textbook case of when to bring in a ringer to make a deep run, possibly even a cup win. Brodeur is a good mentor, he’s won the Stanley Cup before. He knows his time is very, very, limited and given the current roster and how much more some of them will need to be paid in two years, the teams window isn’t much wider. If Brodeur signs for about a million for one season, this could be a marriage made in heaven, if if its just for one year.