Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Locking up The Franchise

Before commenting on Zach Parise, let me first write a post about "The Franchise", Martin Brodeur, and his free agency efforts.

Back on Sunday, before Brodeur had re-signed, I tweeted this in reply to @DownGoesAvery:

Martin Brodeur is the franchise for the New Jersey Devils. Ken Daneyko may be "Mr. Devil", but without Marty Brodeur in net, there are no 3 Stanley Cups and 5 Prince of Wales trophies. One can make the same point about Scott Stevens, and not to say that was proven untrue this past season with the Cup Finals appearance, but Martin Brodeur is the single most important Devils player. He's arguably the greatest goalie in NHL history (okay, he IS, and I'm not in the mood to have that argument now).

Do you know how much it would have hurt to see "The Franchise", a career Devil, put on another uniform (aside from the various All-Star Game and Team Canada jerseys)? It's unthinkable. To be with a club for 20 years (remember, he came up as a teenager and turned 40 during the playoffs this past season), to be the cornerstone of almost the entire amount of success of the 30 year old franchise, and to leave to finish your career (1 or 2 seasons) would completely tarnish his legacy.

I'm not going to begin to speculate WHY it went as far as Brodeur hiring an agent for the first time, or WHY it even went as far Brodeur crossing the July 1, 12 noon ET deadline to become an unrestricted free agent, but those things happened. And it would have been a disaster for Lou Lamoriello to allow Brodeur to sign elsewhere. News broke on Monday morning that Brodeur had re-signed for 2 years and $9 million. At this point in his career, with the legacy that he has with the club, Brodeur should be the one to decide when he's no longer the Devils goaltender, as long as he's no other team's goalie. We'll see in 2 years if that once again is the case.

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