With an absolutely amazing career and now turning free agent, one of the biggest, if not the biggest, questions of this upcoming offseason is where Marty Brodeur will end up. After spending his entire career with the New Jersey Devils, many applaud his great work and achievements that he's made over his 20 years in the NHL, however, there are many doubters that he is the greatest of all time.rnrnThat's besides the point in this discussion. Marty is now 41 years old and with his contract expiring, he should hang up his career and call it quits. Or should he? Over the last year, he has shared the starting goalie position with newly acquired teammate Corey Schneider and his number of starts has suffered as a result. Brodeur hasn't been playing his best the last couple of years but many would argue he still has what it takes to lead a team. Sure, his numbers have declined and they aren't as good as they once were when Marty was in his prime, but should that stop a team from picking him up for another season or two? I would say no, not at all.rnrnMarty is not about the money, and he never has been. By playing for NJ his entire career, it's pretty obvious that he is a loyal teammate that would rather stay in NJ if he were to continue playing. But don't you think that over 20+ seasons of being with the same team and organization that he may want to experience something different for a change? Why not go to another team for a year or two, play back up, and see what he's been missing out on while sticking with NJ for so many years? Well, it's a good possibility that he will. However, I don't believe that's what his final decision will be.rnrnSure, Marty wants the starting position for at least another year in the NHL, and preferably with the Devils, but if he doesn't get that (which he's not going to), then he should test the free agency and find out what's available to him. This is his chance to finish off his legacy. Sure, critics would say that it would ruin it and devastate his career because he should remain loyal and hang up the skates due to the fact that NJ no longer wants him to start, but think about it; if Marty comes out one more season and puts up 50+ starts with 30+ wins, he would then be leaving the sport on a huge note. "He can't do it, he's way too old..." Tell that to Jagr; the man who is now 43 years old and the leading scorer for the Devils who just signed another deal. rnrnThe point is, Marty can continue playing if he wants. Sure, NJ won't choose to resign him as a starter, but will be happy to have him back as a second option, this time behind Schneider. Or, Brodeur can look for a starting job and take his talent elsewhere. Whatever he decides to do, will greatly affect his legacy, yes, but does Marty really care about his legacy? If he does, he'll rejoin the team as the backup goaltender which is what I personally believe will happen. Signing a one year deal, maybe two, will allow for Marty to quietly leave the league after dominating for so many years, and will allow him to convince himself that it is truly time to pack up and head out since he remains unconvinced as of now.rnrnBy signing one last deal in the NHL, I believe it will be with this lifelong team for the back up goalie spot followed by another deal shortly after; that being for the gm position of the NJ Devils after Lamoriello retires.
Marty WILL retire because he will realize he has no choice. He still believes that he can play fortyish games and that there is someone out there willing to sign him to be a number 1 or 1A type of goalie. He will learn when he tests the market there probably is no place for him like that and he will be forced to accept that his career is over.