Count the Toronto Maple Leafs among the NHL teams interested in signing Martin Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history and an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, a former teammate of Brodeur’s, confirmed to multiple outlets Saturday that the team reached out to Brodeur for a possible backup role.
“We’ve expressed an interest,” Shanahan told NorthJersey.com. “But I think when you get to a point in Marty’s career, it’s really about fit. I was never the best goalie in the history of the game, but I’ve been a veteran player sort of making these decisions. You do things differently when you’re at Marty’s point in his career.
“It’s always going to be about fit.”
The 42-year-old Brodeur has a confidential list of teams he’ll sign with, and his agent, Pat Brisson, has already been in contact with “a few” clubs since the free agent interview window opened June 25.
“For me, I’m not a priority for teams. There is a specific role that I want, and there’s only certain teams that I’d like to go to, so we’re taking our time,” Brodeur told Sportsnet Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, where he attended a Blue Jays game as part of the Joe Carter Classic charity golf tournament.
Brodeur chatted publicly with MLSE boss Tim Leiweke at the event, but Shanahan dismissed that as coincidence.
“If I get a job as a No. 1, I think I’m able to handle the workload of 50 to 60 games. If I don’t, and I get a backup job on a team I feel has a chance to win the Stanley Cup, anything between 20 to 30 games I’d be comfortable with in the right situation,” Brodeur said Thursday. “I want to play the game. I understand my age, for people, is a big deal, but I stayed healthy all year. I played 39 games. Didn’t miss a practice. Didn’t miss a game. I was pretty happy about that.”
Brodeur would be content with a one-year, reports TVA's Louis Jean.
Toronto is planning on going with Jonathan Bernier as its No. 1 goaltender in 2014-15, but general manager Dave Nonis has not ruled out restricted free agent James Reimer returning as the Leafs' No. 2 goalie.
Brodeur also received interest from the Leafs in the summer of 2012, when the goaltender tested free agency before re-upping with the New Jersey Devils for two more seasons.
The Leafs traded defenceman Carl Gunnarsson and a fourth-round pick to the St. Louis Blues Saturday for stay-at-home defenceman Roman Polak. More changes to the club's roster are expected this summer, as UFAs Dave Bolland, Mason Raymond and Nikolai Kulemin speak with other teams.