Though it had not been ruled out as a possibility, the news today that superstar goalie Martin Brodeur has hired an agent and may test the free agent waters has to come as a surprise. After all he's been the man in New Jersey for some 19 years.
Not only that but Brodeur's relationship with GM Lou Lamoriello has always been good, he turned 40 during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, he could become one of the few modern day goalies to remain with one franchise for his entire career and the team just showed they can remain competitive.
But long-time agent Pat Brisson has confirmed Brodeur hired him. Brodeur is on record as saying his preference would be to remain a Devil but Brisson told TSN Friday the two-time gold medal winning goalie will "be testing free agency if a deal is not in place by Sunday."
NHL 2012-13 goalie market
New Jersey must contend with signing Brodeur and signing their captain, Zach Parise, their dominate player during their run to the Stanley Cup final this year. To lose both those players, and not find comparable replacements, would surely drop the Devils right out of contention.
Brodeur's appearance on the NHL free-agency goalie scene would muddy things up but make for a more interesting scenario. Would the Toronto Maple Leafs look to him to get them to the playoffs and buy time for James Reimer to get more ready to be a number one? Would Florida look for him to do the same with Jacob Markstrom? And while Tampa Bay now has Anders Lindback, Brodeur would fit there, helping Lindback transition to a number one.
When you add that 10-year deal Jonathan Quick just signed in L.A., leaving Jonathan Bernier an ironclad bet to be dealt, it adds a good deal of intrigue to the goalie market. One area it may impact is the efforts of Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis to trade Roberto Luongo, giving more choices to teams and making it harder for Gillis to unload Luongo's 10-year contract.