Why Martin Brodeur wants to hang on for another NHL season

Why Martin Brodeur wants to hang on for another NHL season

When it comes to Martin Brodeur, many of us just wonder “why?”

Yes, we understand the competitive fire from a faded star; the desire to maintain the celebrity and the road life and all the various trappings of a decades-long career. To not be an alumnus, but a player. And no matter how many times they see guys hang on for too long – hello, Mike Modano, Detroit Red Wings afterthought – they keep trying to drink the milk past its expiration date.

Which brings us to Martin Brodeur, who has a Gretzky-like hold on a number of goaltending records; three Stanley Cups; and enough Vezinas to construct an entire summer home from them.

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One can argue the 42 year old already hung on too long, with two years of .901 save percentages and a 2.51 goals-against average in 39 games last season. That he played 39 games was a tribute to his legacy – despite having an exponentially better goalie in Cory Schneider, they couldn’t say no to Brodeur.

And thus, missed the playoffs. Well, the shootout might have played a role there too.

Brodeur is now an unrestricted free agent. His initial desire to be a starter in the NHL next season has been abandoned. He’s lobbied to become Carey Price’s backup in Montreal. One assumes the scope of that job search will increase when training camp begins.

Which brings us back to … “why?”


From his agent Pat Brisson via Fire And Ice, we understand the “why” a little more:

“He’s 12 wins away from 700 and those are things he wants to accomplish,” Brisson said. “He’d like to play on a team that will have a chance to go far as well. Right now, I don’t have the perfect script. However, I’m OK with it because, based on experience, all teams are going for the Stanley Cup when camp opens and three weeks later they realize that there’s missing pieces here and there.”

So chief among the factors is hitting that big round number that no one in the history of the NHL has hit, or may ever hit again unless they extend the regular season to 100 games.

Again, it’s an understandable goal. Every player wants to go out with a milestone, whether it’s a stat that places them among the immortals or a Stanley Cup ring.

Brodeur already has both. But he wants to play on. The question isn’t “why?”; the question isn’t “where?”; the question is “how?” when his last two seasons have been so below average? Who'd want him?