After having spent 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, goalie Martin Brodeur is about to find out what it feels like to suit up for another hockey team. He’s signed a one year contract with the St. Louis Blues, inking a deal that carries a pro-rated base pay of $700,000.
Now, there are bonuses involved with the contract that should line Brodeur’s pocket quite nicely. He’ll earn $10,000 for every point the Blues earn while he’s in goal, plus there will be playoff bonuses and a variety of undisclosed roster bonuses that add up to a rumoured $125,000 a month. The contract does not include a no-trade clause.
Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time leader in a number of categories, including wins (688) and shutouts (124). He’s been consistent in his desire to play hockey again, even if it meant sitting out a whole season, and now it looks like he’ll get his wish with the Blues.
St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong was contacted by Pat Brisson, Brodeur’s agent, in October when the goalie expressed a desire to play. After Blues goalie Brian Elliot went down with an injury in late-November, Armstrong was on the phone to Brisson again about his client. The rest, as they say, is history.
Brodeur will split time with 24-year-old Jake Allen. As we reported, he joined the Blues on a tryout basis on Friday and participated in a morning skate on Saturday as well. He also skated Sunday on his own at the Blues’ practice facility and took part in full practices at the beginning of the week.
“They wanted to give me as much time as I wanted to make my decision,” Brodeur said. “I don’t know when they made their decision having me around. We finalized everything after practice. But going into this practice [Tuesday], I knew I was going to get the contract.”
During his practice sessions, Brodeur was watched closely by Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock and the team’s goalie coach Jim Corsi.
“Can he stop pucks?” said Hitchcock. “He can stops pucks in his sleep for me. Do you have the energy to keep going? Because the energy’s going to be there in the second half of games and we needed to see that and he needed to feel it. Once he green-lighted it, we know he can help us.”
For now, Brodeur has to take things day by day. He’s not sure exactly where he sits when Elliot returns and he may find himself on the road again to another NHL squad.
“He’s going to go and he’s going to play when asked to play,” said Armstrong. “When Brian’s ready he’ll be back in here. Our goaltenders are Brian and Jake. We believe in them. We’re looking for someone that can give us the support needed where every point matters in the NHL”