A recent report has suggested that the legendary Martin Brodeur has interest in signing as a backup with the Habs. To push the boundaries of sanity even further, former Habs player and current RDS panelist Vincent Damphousse reports that the Habs have reached out to Brodeur.
Long live silly season!
At this stage of the off-season, and with no job, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Brodeur is now talking about signing in his home town. After all, it is standard operating procedure for all Quebec-born players to confess to “always wanting to play at home”…but only once their best years are behind them.
To completely push the cart off the rails, it seems as though a sizeable chunk of Habs land have been enchanted with this idea, completely forgetting about how lousy Brodeur has been for the last handful of seasons, and failing to recall that the Canadiens have a capable backup in Peter Budaj, and a terrific safety net in Dustin Tokarski. What upgrade does Brodeur offer the Habs? The simple answer is none.
“But Brodeur is arguably the best goalie ever, and has multiple cup wins to prove it! His experience is invaluable!” That’s the one retort that one could make that can’t be picked apart. The reality is, Brodeur’s cup-winning years are way behind him, and there’s precious little that he can teach Carey Price at this point, given Price’s own pressure-cooker maturation. The inevitable distraction that a Martin Brodeur signing would bring FAR outweighs what remains of his once amazing ability. The 2009-10 season seems to be the last of what he had to offer in terms of being reliable. Ever since then, he’s posted regular season save percentages of .903, .908, .901, and .901, for an average of .903. That’s not NHL calibre, folks. Not even as a backup. His playoff numbers aren’t much better, posting an an average save percentage of .905 over his last four playoff years, which includes a run to the cup finals in 2012 where he posted a surprising .929 save percentage. Remove that outlier performance, and you can imagine where the numbers would be.
There is no statistical or logical justification for the Habs to dump Budaj, a very popular teammate by all media accounts, just to replace him with a player who has next to nothing left to give except for headaches. Just imagine the outcry from the lunatic fringe the first time Carey Price slips in to a funk. Imagine the volume of that outcry if it were to occur during the playoffs. If that doesn’t give you instant nausea, then you probably are at least a little bit in love with the idea that Brodeur could land in Montreal. Remember: the Habs jersey is made from the same material as the jerseys of the other 29 teams. There is no magic woven in to the bleu-blanc-rouge of the Habs. The jerseys are not sprinkled with pixie dust, nor are they bathed in the fountain of youth before making their way on to the backs of the players. Having Brodeur in a Habs jersey may make certain segments of the fanbase misty-eyed, but having Brodeur on the ice or on the bench in no way makes the Habs better.