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.”
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.