Free agency has begun and Twitter is doing what it does best. We’re seeing what I picture to be the near opposite of these proceedings. I picture the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office calmly going about these negotiations in a business-like manner. While on Twitter we have just rapid fire rumors and strangers calling other strangers an idiot for voicing their own opinion.
Opinions on what usually amounts to be pure fiction.
So far, the Blackhawks have bolstered their defensive corps with Sheldon Brookbank. The internet was abuzz with fan reaction a,nd from what I can tell, collective groans from the masses as they compared this to last year’s signings of Sean O’Donnell and Steve Montador.
Fair enough. I’d be willing to bet, however, that a lot of these unhappy humans are the same ones who griped for the Hawks to add some veteran presence prior to last season. I get there’s a difference between “veteran” and “kind of already retired,” but Brookbank sounds like and looks to be what the Hawks can utilize on penalty kills. And, as it were, a lot cheaper than Niklas Hajalmarsson…
I took to Twitter and gave the opportunity for anyone to give me “One good reason the Hawks should sign Martin Brodeur.” Since his name has recently been thrown around. The results were not surprising. One brave soul came forward and said:
“(B)ecause he’s an upgrade over what they have now and doesn’t require a major investment. Let him play 45 games.”
There’s a lot to examine in that statement alone. And I don’t say any of this to be a jackass. I respect his opinion and for giving it to a complete stranger. But, I’m using it because it’s seemingly the thought process of many. Too many, in my opinion. Since it was announced Brodeur might not re-sign with New Jersey, it’s taken some of the light from the Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Roberto Luongo stage.
What we know, is that Brodeur is seeking somewhere around $10M for a two-year deal. The Blackhawks re-signed backup Ray Emery and also have Corey Crawford locked into a deal. End of story, right?
Apparently not. People see Brodeur for what he is. The winningest goaltender of all time. Some would even say the greatest. Then, they look at the Blackhawks’ two first round exits in a row and see Crawford in net for both. They also see Crawford isn’t Antti Niemi, who won the Stanely Cup in 2010.
Yes? Brodeur probably would be an upgrade. But, do I really have to point out his age and that at any moment his career could be over? Dwayne Roloson had a good year for Tampa Bay two years ago. Then, he sort of played last year. How about the fact Brodeur has no intention of mentoring anybody? Jest all you want about Marty Turco, but what he did for Crawford was special. If Brodeur isn’t willing, you gain nothing for your backup.
So, now we would have a goalie that numerous times had been passed over. He was left in the AHL, only to get two starting seasons of 33 and 3o wins before being passed over again for an aging veteran?
One issue of Crawford’s that gets discussed by his coaches is confidence. What would this do for his confidence? What do rumors of Luongo and Brodeur taking his job do for his confidence?
“Doesn’t require major investment”
How much are we willing to spend on a veteran in the end of his career? As I mentioned before, it would around $5M for two years. Crawford is slated to make $2.7M and Emery’s new contract gives him a bit of a raise. The money being paid to Crawford tells me they have confidence in him, but he needs a terrific season, because it’s movable. The Blackhawks have roughly $6M left to spend since signing Brookbank. That easily can be spread on multiple role players. Not a goaltender you don’t need or won’t have five years down the road.
“Let him play 45 games”
If he doesn’t get the starting job, he won’t sign anyway. And $5M for 45 games would be ridiculous for Martin Havlat, not to mention Martin Brodeur.
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