Martin Brodeur

Report: Leafs, Bruins, Penguins, ‘Hawks among Brodeur suitors

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Even considering his advanced age, it sounds like there are plenty of suitors for future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

Rumors swirled about the iconic goalie and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and apparently with good reason. Brendan Shanahan acknowledged interest in the 42-year-old, as the Bergen Record reports.

“We’ve expressed an interest,” Shanahan said. “But I think when you get to a point in Marty’s career it’s really about fit. I was never the best goalie in the history of the game, but I’ve been a veteran player sort of making these decisions. You do things differently when you’re at Marty’s point in his career.”

“It’s always going to be about fit.”

It sounds like quite a few Stanley Cup contenders think they can find the right fit for the NHL record holder in wins. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins have been mentioned as potential interested parties:

There’s a big question about how well the famous goalie would handle being a backup, which would be his gig in just about every contending situation (and most situations, at this stage of his career). He filled Sportsnet in on what kind of role he’s willing to accept earlier last week.

“If I get a job as a No. 1, I think I’m able to handle the workload of 50 to 60 games,” Brodeur said. “If I don’t, and I get a backup job on a team I feel has a chance to win the Stanley Cup, anything between 20 to 30 games I’d be comfortable with in the right situation.”

There are a lot of possibilities buzzing around, yet one very important factor would be money. Brodeur didn’t give any indication about his desired salary, which certainly matters to teams in tight financial situations as championship contenders often are.

Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t sound like Brodeur will lack options when the free agent period begins. Like many other veterans, it’s plausible that he might not make a decision on July 1 (or maybe even in the month of July).

Then again, you never know what will happen once the frenzy begins.

Bruins GM talks backup plans if Iginla leaves

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens - Game Three
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The Boston Bruins aren’t ruling out the possibility of Jarome Iginla coming back for a second season, but they’re also putting together a gameplan in case he finds the kind of deal he’s looking for.

For one thing, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli believes that Loui Eriksson could slide into Iginla’s spot on the top line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, CSNNE.com reports.

“I have to hedge in case we don’t sign Jarome,” Chiarelli said. “I have no problem if we have to put Loui on that top line. He’s played on top lines before and he’s played with the Sedins in the Olympics, and he was terrific. He’s better suited for an upper line. If that’s what we have to do then we’ll do it. I’m trying to be patient with this because I really feel at one point there’s going to be a player that will fit, and want to come here.”

How would Eriksson fit in?

Eriksson would be an interesting choice. The 28-year-old indeed ran shotgun with Jamie Benn for years in Dallas, often earning recognition as one of the NHL’s most underrated wingers during his time with the Stars. His two-way play could make him a hit in Boston – particularly with head coach Claude Julien – if he can avoid the kind of injury troubles that plagued his debut season with the B’s.

It would be a chance of pace, though. Lucic and Krejci have been rolling with big-bodied wingers who possessed big right-handed shots in Iginla and Nathan Horton before him. Eriksson’s not tiny by any stretch, yet he’s a left-handed winger whose style is more finesse-based.

Waiting game

There’s always the possibility that the Bruins add a forward in free agency, although Chiarelli made it clear that he’s “not going to go out hard to find a replacement for two reasons: the annual cost and the term.”

Term is the main sticking point with Iginla, as the Bruins would prefer to replicate the one-year, incentive-laden deal they gave the 36-year-old last time around.

If he finds that term somewhere else, it doesn’t sound like Boston will be scrambling for answers.

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask wins Vezina Trophy

rask
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Tuukka Rask has taken the 2014 Vezina Trophy as the National Hockey League’s top goaltender.

The award comes on a special day – the eight-year anniversary to the day when the Boston Bruins acquired Rask from the Toronto Maple Leafs, as per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. Rask finished the season with a league-leading seven shutouts and a .930 save percentage, which was second among goalies. He also recorded 36 wins in the regular season.

Here are the voting results for the award:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)

1. Tuukka Rask, BOS 103 (16-6-5)
2. Semyon Varlamov, COL 90 (9-13-6)
3. Ben Bishop, TB 32 (1-6-9)
4. Carey Price, MTL 26 (2-3-7)
5. Jonathan Quick, LA 9 (1-1-1)
6. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 5 (1-0-0)
7. Steve Mason, PHI 3 (0-1-0)
8. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ 1 (0-0-1)
Kari Lehtonen, DAL 1 (0-0-1)

In the end, 16 of 30 league general managers took Rask as their top choice for the Vezina. It is Rask’s first Vezina Trophy of his career.

Here’s a list of the Vezina winners and second-place finishers since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2014 Tuukka Rask, Bos. Semyon Varlamov, Col.
2013 Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ Henrik Lundqvist, NYR
2012 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR Jonathan Quick, L.A.
2011 Tim Thomas, Bos. Pekka Rinne, Nsh.
2010 Ryan Miller, Buf. Ilya Bryzgalov, Phx.
2009 Tim Thomas, Bos. Steve Mason, CBJ
2008 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Evgeni Nabokov, S.J.
2007 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Roberto Luongo, Van.
2006 Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy. Martin Brodeur, N.J
2004 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy.
2003 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Marty Turco, Dal.
2002 Jose Theodore, Mtl. Patrick Roy, Col.
2001 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Roman Cechmanek, Phi.
2000 Olaf Kolzig, Wsh. Roman Turek, St. L.
1999 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Curtis Joseph, Tor.
1998 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1997 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1996 Jim Carey, Wsh. Chris Osgood, Det.
1995 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Ed Belfour, Chi.
1994 Dominik Hasek, Buf. John Vanbiesbrouck, Fla.
1993 Ed Belfour, Chi. Tom Barrasso, Pit.
1992 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Kirk McLean, Van.
1991 Ed Belfour, Chi. Patrick Roy, Mtl.
1990 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Daren Puppa, Buf.

Bruins sign ‘good competitor’ goalie Svedberg

Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets
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The Boston Bruins are going a different direction when it comes to a back-up goalie. The club announced it signed Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one-way contract worth a cap hit of $600,000.

Svedberg, 24, made one appearance this past season for the Bruins, winning his only game, allowing two goals on 35 shots against the Nashville Predators.

“He’s a good competitor,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said back on Jan. 2. “I think he’s improved over the course of the year with his experience. Earlier on, when I first saw him, when he first came, he had to make some adjustments to his game because of how they played in Europe versus here.”

“From there on in, I think he just kept getting better and better.”

This also appears to be the end of Chad Johnson’s time with the Bruins. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent, after making $600,000 – the same as his cap hit – this past season.

“It’s unfortunate for me because I loved everything about Boston and the Bruins,” Johnson told Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.

“With how tight the cap is in Boston … as well as what the goalie market for a guy like myself is nothing really could work out,” he added.

Last season, the 28-year-old Johnson posted a record of 17-4-3, with a .925 save percentage and 2.10 goals-against average.

The Bruins also have 2012 first-round draft pick and goalie Malcolm Subban in their system. According to Capgeek.com, the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in this season.

Bruins assistant Geoff Ward resigns, takes job in German league

Geoff Ward, Claude Julien
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Claude Julien is in the market for a new assistant coach.

Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced Geoff Ward has resigned from his position with the team and has taken the head coaching job with the Mannheim Eagles of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.

Ward has been an assistant coach with the Bruins since 2007 and was part of the Stanley Cup-winning team in 2011. He was responsible for working the power play in Boston and that’s been a bit of a problem there in the postseason.

Seeing him leave to take a job in Germany isn’t shocking as he’s been a head coach there before including with Iserlohn in 2006-07 before he took the Bruins job. He’s also coached in the OHL with Kitchener and Guelph and the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

There isn’t a shortage of capable people to help out behind the bench and Julien and Chiarelli will have plenty of time to find a replacement.