NHL Free Agents: Toronto Maple Leafs and Martin Brodeur, Could It Happen?
The Toronto Maple Leafs have multiple concerns with their starting lineup heading into the opening days of free agency. Leafs fans have been clamoring for a fix down the center for wings Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel, as well as more solid and consistent goaltending.
At first it appeared at the end of last year that rookie goaltender James Reimer was the savior in net that the Leafs have been looking for. He finished an impressive campaign in 2010-2011 with a 20-win season, a .920 save percentage and three shutouts.
This season, however, saw a sophomore slump for Reimer, and he split time with Jonas Gustavsson, who has recently signed with the Detroit Red Wings on the first day of free agency.
Now without a true legitimate No. 1 center or No. 1 goaltender, things may turn south very quickly for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
One possible savior is Roberto Luongo from the Canucks, but his monstrous contract along with what will be pulled from the prospect cupboards of the Maple Leafs for the trade doesn't sound too appealing to a lot of Leafs fans.
Enter Martin Brodeur.
Brodeur holds multiple NHL records and proved last season (and every season he has played in the NHL) that he still has what it takes to win hockey games. Brodeur has only had two seasons with fewer than 30 wins since 1995 and multiple seasons with more than 40 wins.
If there's one thing that Toronto needs right now, it is a goaltender who can be in the crease every night and can win the games that have to be won.
Signing Brodeur to a simple one-year deal worth roughly $3-5 million would allow plenty of cap space to work around the offensive woes that have been plaguing Toronto for multiple seasons. This would allow more time for the very young James Reimer to develop and provide a cheaper and less costly option in net than Luongo.
If I were Brian Burke, I would be pursing Brodeur more than any other goaltender available this offseason.
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