With the news Friday that Martin Brodeur has hired Pat Brisson to be his agent, there is speculation the New Jersey Devils goaltender will test free agency starting July 1.
Brodeur has spent his entire 19-season NHL career with New Jersey and previously hinted he would like to finish it with the Devils. However, the two sides have not come to terms on a new contract, and Brisson told The (Bergen) Record in an email, "It looks like he might be testing free agency on Sunday if a deal isn't reached by Sunday with the Devils."
So where could the 40-year-old land should he leave the Devils as an unrestricted free agent? Here are some candidates:
Goalie - NJD
2011-12 RECORD: 31-21-4
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.908
Chicago Blackhawks -- Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks haven't escaped the first round. Goaltending has been an issue for Chicago the past two seasons, and Brodeur would solidify things in a major way. Corey Crawford, 27, could benefit from having Brodeur as a partner for a season after having his ups and downs in 2011-12.
Florida Panthers -- After ending the NHL's longest playoff drought last season, Brodeur and the Devils knocked the Panthers out in the first round. With Scott Clemmensen -- once Brodeur's understudy -- an unrestricted free agent, that leaves Jose Theodore and Jacob Markstrom in Florida. Should the Panthers sign Brodeur, he would serve as a great example for 22-year-old Markstrom.
Toronto Maple Leafs -- GM Brian Burke is believed to be trying to trade for Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, so why not make a pitch for Brodeur, who won't cost him assets? Toronto may not be the most attractive destination -- the Leafs haven't made the playoffs since 2004 -- but perhaps Brodeur can be the answer to that problem.
Tampa Bay Lightning -- They are two years removed from a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, and a big reason they didn't reach the playoffs this past season was goaltending. GM Steve Yzerman may reach out to Brodeur to see if he'd like to help get the Lightning back to the postseason. After all, Yzerman has employed another 40-plus goaltender, Dwayne Roloson.