Brodeur says he never wanted to leave Devils: “All I know is New Jersey”

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Turns out what many pegged as a bluff...really was a bluff.

That’s the word out of New Jersey today after Martin Brodeur agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal with the Devils.

Brodeur, who hired agent Pat Brisson to wade free agent waters after negotiations with the Devils went south, says he never really intended on leaving the place he’s called home for 20 NHL seasons.

“All I know is New Jersey,” Brodeur told the New York Post. “All my friends are in New Jersey. It was hard that people though I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to do that.”

After signing the deal, Brodeur admitted he hired Brisson largely to squeeze a two-year deal out of the Devils, rather than the one-year they were offering. By getting the Brisson to field offers from around the league, Brodeur put pressure on New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello to tack on the extra year.

More, from The Post:

“A one year deal, I didn’t think was good for me,” Brodeur said. “In the back of my mind, New Jersey was the No. 1 choice, by far, but I talked to two teams, and it was interesting.

“Lou [Lamoriello] made every effort to keep me in New Jersey, tweaking it at our request in different areas on his one-year [offer]. But the big thing to me was the uncertainty of the possible lockout,” Brodeur said.

After receiving two-year offers elsewhere, the Devils made their two-year bid and Brodeur said he agreed late Sunday.

Other notes

While unofficial, sounds like Johan Hedberg has found work for next season. The catch? Nobody knows where. The Post reports Hedberg’s “agreed to a free agent deal, although it is uncertain with whom he is signing.” (UPDATE: It’s the Devils.)

— Brodeur said he spoke with Zach Parise about the possibility of re-signing in New Jersey. Marty’s take? “I think the Devils are still really high on his list.”