Martin Brodeur is probably the NHL's greatest goaltender. The Devils' first overall pick in the 1990 entry draft, New Jersey is the only team he's ever known. The Devils made the right decision last season by letting the unrestricted free agent walk, but Brodeur isn't ready to retire. In his quest to be the Mike Modano of goaltenders, he has been waiting by the phone since July 1st for a team to call him. No teams were in that big of a need of a starter, so some people started saying that a starter would have to go down for Brodeur to get a call.
Well, a starter went down.
WIth Brian Elliott currently week-to-week with a lower body injury, the Blues will be relying on Jake Allen to start a bulk of the games for the foreseeable future. The Blues did call up Jordan Binnington from the Chicago Wolves, but he's not NHL ready despite excellent AHL numbers.
It is the job of the general manager of a hockey team to make decisions that will help his team get every point in the standings humanly possible. Doug Armstrong may believe that Martin Brodeur gives the Blues that chance more than Binnington. Brodeur has been invited to practice with the team Friday morning before their game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Brodeur's age showed considerably during his final season, where he posted his highest GAA in his career, a 2.51. That isn't a terrible GAA for a goaltender, but when compared to the rest of his career numbers, it may be taken as a sign that the 42 year old was reaching the nadir of his career.
Brodeur, if he's kept in shape (and I'm sure that he has) while he has been waiting, has experience that Binnington could never have. He may be reasonably reliable. If the Blues want points in the standings, he is the better option. The Blues need to be clear as to what will happen here. When Elliott returns from injury, Brodeur won't have a place here. Unless he goes on some ungodly tear, he won't be the starter while Elliott is out.
If this were a permanent move, the cause for concern would be understandable. As it stands, if you have to choose between someone who has won 688 career NHL games and someone who has never played in one, you probably habve a better shot with the old guy.
I still wish Marty would've retied gracefully at the end of last season, legacy unbesmirched by that awkward also-ran season that seems to plague stubborn aging stars. Signing him doesn't cost any assets, it plugs a hole, and fills a temporary need for the Blues. I doubt it will fill Brodeur's need to be a starter, though. Marty's last season will be a footnote to a brilliant career.