2012 NHL Free Agents: Martin Brodeur Makes Poor Choice Staying Put in New Jersey

Jon ReidCorrespondent IIJuly 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11:  Goaltender Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils roughs up the ice in his crease area prior to the start of a period in Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just a few days after Martin Brodeur announced that he had hired agent Pat Brisson to represent him as a free agent this offseason, TSN is reporting that Brodeur has signed a new contract with the New Jersey Devils to the tune of two years and $9 million.

Bright and early on day two of free agency, Brodeur has become the first big domino to fall (no, P.A. Parenteau was not a major free agent).

Was sticking with the Devils the best choice for Brodeur?

Not if the 40-year-old netminder wants to end his career on a winning note.

As impressive as New Jersey was in this year's postseason, the chances of the Devils returning to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 were minuscule to begin with.

The financial situation in Newark won't help much either, with the Devils losing money hand over fist even before committing another $9 million to Brodeur.

These same financial woes were a key element in pushing free-agent captain Zach Parise to test the market and look for a new place to call home, despite his expressing interest in staying with the club (per The Star-Ledger).

One also has to wonder if the Devils will be able to afford to keep shutdown defenseman Bryce Salvador, who played such a critical role in helping the Devils achieve their postseason success, especially after dishing out $9 million to Marty.

Losing both Parise and Salvador would leave a huge hole in the Devils roster, one that they can barely afford to replace.

If Parise does end up leaving as well, the Devils will need a new captain going forward, and you've got to wonder if it's possible for a team that just lost its star player to win with a first-year captain.

The situation doesn't get any better after next season either, when Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson, Adam Henrique and Marek Zidlicky are all set to become free agents.

The future looks bleak for the Devils, so let's hope Brodeur signed that contract out of loyalty and not the belief that they could make one last run at history.