The Toronto Maple Leafs know full well just how bad their goaltending was last season, but that doesn't mean they need to go all out to bring in Martin Brodeur.
That bad goaltending I just mentioned led to the Maple Leafs having the 29th-ranked goals against average in the NHL with an abysmal 3.2. Had Toronto enjoyed better success between the pipes, they could have very well been a playoff team.
As soon Darren Dreger of TSN reported that Brodeur was going to test the waters of free agency, excitement quickly built in Toronto.
Martin Brodeur very likely to test free agent market. Brodeur has hired Pat Brisson (CAA) to represent him. Bidders get ready!— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2012
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN only added fuel to the fire as he tried to fathom the viability of bringing Brodeur to Canada as compared to some of the other options the Maple Leafs have.
On the surface, this looks like a good move. But thinking much deeper, this might not be all it looks like.
The Maple Leafs are looking to develop 24-year-old goaltender, James Reimer. Reimer had 34 starts last season and a GAA of 3.1. Clearly there is still much work to be done, but can that work get done with Brodeur on the roster?
Brodeur will look to start no matter where he goes. It's doubtful the New Jersey Devils' legend is looking to leave his current team as the starter in order to take a backseat to a younger goalie. Judging from the 2011-12 season that saw Brodeur play in 59 games, he isn't looking to slow down now.
Reimer's development could be heavily stunted if he doesn't get the playing time necessary.
Brodeur also brings a win now element to this team. However, no matter how much success Brodeur has in his first season as a Maple Leaf, it isn't likely to last long. After all, Brodeur is 40 and there were whispers he could retire at the end of this past season.
So even if Brodeur gets his starting job, pushing Reimer to the back, it is only a crutch. Brodeur could be gone in a season or two and Reimer could be on his way out of town as a result of his potential demotion.
In that instance, the Maple Leafs will be looking to rebuild in net once again very soon.
Brodeur isn't ready to be a backup, even at this point in his career. Toronto needs an experienced goalie who won't completely take the starting job from their young netminder. Brodeur will do that, making him a bad fit for this team.