St. Louis Blues Will Take Look at Martin Brodeur


St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong announced on Wednesday afternoon that former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will begin practicing with the team on a tryout basis on Friday, beginning what figures to be about a week-long trial period as the team explores alternative options in net. The Blues are expected to be without goaltender Brian Elliott for at least several weeks after he suffered what is widely believed to be a knee sprain in Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators.

The 42-year-old Brodeur is very possibly the greatest goaltender in NHL history. He’s a four-time Vezina Trophy (best goalie) and five-time Jennings Trophy (fewest goals scored against) winner, as well as a nine-time All-Star, three-time Olympian (with two gold medals), and three-time Stanley Cup champion. He’s the NHL career leader in games played among goaltenders, wins, saves, and shutouts.

His most legendary skill is his endurance, which is part of what still makes him an attractive replacement option, even at 42 years old. He’s played in at least 70 games in 12 of his 21 NHL seasons, incredibly playing in 77 of the Devils’ 82 games in the 2009-10 season, when he was 37 years old.

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With that said, Brodeur is not at the level that he once was, which should pretty much be the expectation for any 42-year-old athlete. He was demoted to part-time status last season with the Devils as the team acquired Cory Schneider, and he played in just 39 games. He went 19-14-6 with a 2.51 goals against average and a .901 save percentage, which was the worst total he had put up in that category since 1991-92, when he played in just four games.

With that in mind, it’s possible that Brodeur has finally lost the spark that made him an elite NHL goaltender for so long. Seeing as he would have to command at least a reasonable salary with 21 seasons under his belt, it might be best for the Blues to just let rookie Jake Allen carry the load and hope that they don’t have to use his new backup, Jordan Binnington, too much.

But if Brodeur shows signs of life during practice, then he might be a nice addition as at least a short-term fix for the hole left by Elliott’s injury. There remains the issue of what the Blues would do after Elliott eventually returned, but until then Brodeur might be able to provide a nice safety net.