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Fantasy Spin: Pros, cons of adding Blues' Brodeur

by Pete Jensen / NHL.com

Unrestricted free agent Martin Brodeur wasn't ready to hang up his skates. He waited for the right situation to open up, and, sure enough, it finally came.

The longtime New Jersey Devils goalie signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. With Brian Elliott injured, the Blues needed a backup and Brodeur was the best option available. He will make his season debut Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

Should you add Brodeur in fantasy? It boils down to your league's depth and your team's specific circumstances. Consider the positives and negatives surrounding him at this stage of his career before making your decision.

THE PROS:

FANTASY HOCKEY ANALYSIS

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TEAM STRENGTHS: The Blues are among the League's top five in shots on goal allowed per game in each regular season since 2010-11. This is a defensively sound roster that rolls three strong lines. Even with David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Paul Stastny slumping offensively, their supporting cast, namely Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera, have kept the Blues near the top of the League standings. Their defense corps is led by young standouts Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.

PEDIGREE/EXPERIENCE: Goalie Jake Allen is 24 years old. He has allowed more than three goals twice in 12 games this season and has a strong goals-against average (2.32). He has a grasp on the starting job with Elliott out, but should benefit from leaning on Brodeur for spot starts and veteran know-how. For anyone questioning Brodeur's mindset in attempting this comeback, the League's all-time winningest goalie has earned benefit of the doubt in my opinion.

BACK-TO-BACKS: You can count on Blues coach Ken Hitchcock giving Brodeur appearances in the short term. St. Louis has 10 remaining sets of back-to-back games this season. Brodeur will get a chance to show what he has left over the coming weeks and months as needed.

INSURANCE: Whether or not you have Allen on your roster, Elliott owners need to stash him on injured reserve and add Brodeur ASAP. He's being picked up with each passing minute (UPDATE: 29 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) upon joining a ready-made Stanley Cup Playoff contender. Even if you don't own Elliott, there are plenty of goalies out there (e.g. Niklas Backstrom, Ben Scrivens, Evgeni Nabokov, Ray Emery, Josh Harding) who are worth dropping in deep leagues for Brodeur.

THE CONS:

AGE/ENDURANCE: At a position where quickness and athleticism are so vital, it's risky to drop even a decent full-time starter for a 42-year-old. Though he's been practicing with the Blues for a few days, Brodeur has not seen game action since April 13.

STAYING POWER: It remains to be seen how long Elliott will be sidelined (weeks or months), but chances are Brodeur will lose fantasy relevance over time. Barring a severe dip in production from Allen, Brodeur would be the odd man out upon Elliott's return. He's a short-term fantasy fix, but doesn't have much long-term upside.

RECENT STRUGGLES: Fantasy hockey is a "what have you done for me lately" environment. Brodeur has had too many 30 and 40-plus win seasons to count over the course of his career, but his latest campaign was a cause for concern. Among goalies who played at least 35 games last season, Brodeur finished tied with Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets for the worst save percentage (.901). Though the Devils severely lacked scoring punch, they did have League's best penalty kill.

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