Martin Brodeur plans to explore playing in Europe if the NHL lockout continues through October, the Devils’ goaltender told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun in an interview.
“I’m going to wait it out until October, when they’re going to start slashing games, and try to have a sense of where it’s going. I know I’m closing doors in Europe now because I’m going to wait a little bit, but I’d like to go somewhere to play by November if I can get an opportunity somewhere. Right now, I have no intention of going because while there’s still lines of communication [between the NHL and NHLPA], it’s still a positive thing.”
This is the fourth lockout Brodeur has seen since he broke into the NHL in 1992 — the league also had lockouts in 1992, 1994 and 2004, when an entire season was canceled.
Earlier this offseason, the 40-year-old Brodeur signed a two-year, $9 million contract to remain with the Devils. He had an eye on the lockout then, accepting the Devils’ offer after they gave him a second year and assuring him that he would have somewhere to play next season.
“At the end of the day, that was foremost the first reason why Lou and I didn’t agree on a one-year deal, because I kept telling him that I needed a guarantee I would play hockey,” said Brodeur. “At my age, if I go through a whole lockout without a contract, it would have been tough for me to sign for the value I thought I was worth. So I debated with Lou a long time. It took more time than I thought it would. But they came around with it. For me, both mentally and physically, it was the most important thing to get that extra year. Because my experience is that when people talk lockout, usually it happens. That’s the feeling that I had. The second year was a safety valve for me.”
Brodeur was instrumental in leading the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals this season, where they succumbed in six games to the Los Angeles Kings. He allowed 2.12 goals against and had a .917 save percentage in the playoffs.