Martin Brodeur wants to play more hockey, but the probable Hall of Fame goaltender isn’t receiving a ton of interest heading into NHL free agency.
That’s where the Toronto Maple Leafs enter.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Monday that the Leafs will speak with Brodeur and have “mild interest” in signing the 42-year-old goalie. Brodeur is an unrestricted free agent and is set to move on from the Devils, the only NHL team for which he has ever played.
New Leafs president Brendan Shanahan spoke about Brodeur over the weekend and didn’t tip his hand, other than to say there was some interest.
“We’ve expressed an interest,” Shanahan told NorthJersey.com. “But I think when you get to a point in Marty’s career it’s really about fit. I was never the best goalie in the history of the game, but I’ve been a veteran player sort of making these decisions. You do things differently when you’re at Marty’s point in his career.
“It’s always going to be about fit.”
The Leafs’ goaltending situation — which never is boring — also is a bit unsettled right now. James Reimer reportedly asked for a trade over the weekend. The starting job appears to be Jonathan Bernier’s, so if the Leafs were able to work out a trade to ship out Reimer, it would open a spot for someone like Brodeur to come in as the backup.
The thing about Brodeur, however, is that he’s not the goalie he once was. Brodeur’s .901 save percentage last season was the worst of his career, and his 2.51 goals against average also was among the worst of his career. That could be a recipe for disaster, especially if the Leafs aren’t able to improve their defense. Toronto allowed 35.9 shots on goal per game last season, the highest figure in the NHL.