Brodeur’s patience pays off, signs with Blues

Martin Brodeur was visibly excited speaking after a practice with the St. Louis Blues. He talked about the opportunity with a new team and how things ended with the New Jersey Devils.

Martin Brodeur’s patience has paid off.

The future Hall of Famer’s tryout with the St. Louis Blues was a success, as the sides agreed to a one-year deal for the 42-year-old goaltender.

“It feels great,” Brodeur told the team’s website. “I really appreciate the opportunity for me to be here the last few days. It definitely worked out real well. I’m excited for this fresh start.”

Brodeur’s annual base salary (prorated) will be $700,000, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. He’ll receive an additional $10,000 for every point he earns.

It’s likely Brodeur sees his first start Thursday in Nashville, a source tells Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.

After 21 years and three Stanley Cup championships with the New Jersey Devils, Brodeur placed St. Louis at the top of his list when he became an unrestricted free agent after last season.

“Looking at teams, it was the most similar what I’m used to, what I’ve played throughout my career in New Jersey,” Brodeur told reporters Friday, after his first practice with the club. “I’m definitely looking forward to this challenge.”

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Brodeur wasn’t ready to call it a career after the Devils chose not to re-sign him. But he didn’t get any offers until Blues general manager Doug Armstrong called Brodeur’s agent on Tuesday after goalie Brian Elliott sustained a lower-body injury in the Blues’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. Elliott is on injured-reserve and is week to week.

Brodeur, who leads the NHL in wins (688), games played (1,259), losses (394) and shutouts (124), took part in the morning skate Friday with the Blues, who will face the Edmonton Oilers.

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Brodeur is coming off a season in which he was 19-14-6 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .901 save percentage, low numbers by his career marks of 2.24 GAA and .912 save percentage.

“I don’t need to lean on him,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters Friday. “I just need to play him. If he says I’m good to go, and we need games… [Elliott] is going to be out, and if he says I can play, I’m putting him in… bottom line.”

(with files from AP)

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