Why Martin Brodeur should hang up the pads
One such player is future first ballot Hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. You read that correctly in that New Jersey Devils' franchise masked man wants to test the market come July 1.
Brodeur has made it clear that he wants to tend the pipes for at least one more season. While he has every right to do that, it would certainly be strange to see him in net with a hockey club other than the Devils.
Unfortunately for the Devils, they are not so sure that Brodeur will play with the team that he has always been with. A few weeks ago, Brodeur mentioned that he had had conversations with the club and that while they were good, the fact that Cory Schneider appears to be the main man for the Devils has Brodeur feeling uneasy about the amount of playing time he will get next season.
As someone who has spent his entire 20-year career with the Devils' franchise, there is no doubt that Brodeur has earned the right to test the market. With that said, however, there are a few good reasons why Brodeur should retire instead.
For starters, it is clear that Brodeur is nowhere near the goaltender he used to be. In 39 games last season, the 42-year-old Brodeur went 19-14-6 with a 2.51 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and three shootouts.
While those numbers are not terrible, they are not one of a top flight starting goaltender in the NHL. The numbers may be good for a back-up netminder, but if Brodeur wants a starting job, those numbers are not going to get him that kind of role with a hockey club for next season.
Secondly, it is also clear that father time is catching up with perhaps the greatest goaltender this game has ever seen. Sure, plenty of puck stoppers have played into their forties but when they have, they have played behind stellar defenses.
The Devils are not the same defensive hockey club that they used to be. Sure, they're not terrible but at the same time, they are not the kind of defenses that Brodeur is used to playing behind on a nightly basis.
Lastly, playing in another uniform besides that of the Devils' logo would be a mistake. Not only has Brodeur spent his entire career with the club, but he's broken franchise/NHL records, won three Stanley Cups, put the Devils on the NHL map and is the face of the franchise.
While none of those things would exactly change if Brodeur were to sign with another club in the off-season, it certainly would hurt it just a bit. For playing in just one more season, that should not be worth risking.
There is no doubt that Brodeur wants to play one more season and in that season, get a good amount of playing time. At the same time, however, there is also no doubt that that might not be possible in New Jersey.
It is time for Brodeur to realize that his time is up and that he should go into the sunset as not only the best goaltender ever to man the pipes for the Devils, but in the entire NHL.