Martin Brodeur

Brodeur: 2014-15 will probably be my last season

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Goaltender Martin Brodeur has resisted speculation about his retirement in the past, but at the age of 42 he realizes his career is coming to a close.

“(2014-15 is) going to be probably my last year,” Brodeur told the Bergen Record. “You never know what kind of energy I’m going to get from my decision, but I’m not looking for anything more than one year that’s for sure.”

Brodeur intends to exercise his right to test the unrestricted free agent market, but he hasn’t shut the door on re-signing with New Jersey, if they’ll have him. That’s not the lock it once was because while the Devils would certainly love for him to finish his career with them, they need to fully embrace the Cory Schneider era.

If Brodeur did return for the 2014-15 campaign, it would likely be with the understanding that Schneider would receive far more than the 43 starts he got last season. That might not be something Brodeur would go for if he felt like another team might offer him more playing time.

Whatever happens though, he’s leaving on good terms and with the intention of returning after his playing career is over.

“This organization means everything to me,” he said. “I don’t feel pushed out. I feel appreciated in all ways as far as what I can bring as far as leadership and from the fan base. That’s something that will never go away.

“But, like any competitor, you want to play.”

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)