As training camps get set to open at the end of next week, the NHL's all-time winningest goalie likely won't be part of one, a reality that Martin Brodeur knew might be a possibility when he decided to enter free agency.
"We knew all along we would have to be patient," Brodeur's agent, Pat Brisson of CAA Sports, told ESPN.com on Thursday. "Marty is prepared to wait this out, knowing that at some point a team may very well develop a need. Marty is in a good place. It's not like he's phoning me every 10 minutes. He's going to be patient."
Stories over the past week that the Montreal Canadiens might be a fit for the legendary goalie certainly stirred the pot -- after all, there would be some poetry there for sure for the Montreal native, especially given that his late father worked for the team as its official photographer for years.
"There's nothing going on right now when it comes to Montreal," Brisson said.
I guess one can never say never, but at this point Brodeur needs to wait out his options. There just isn't room for him in Montreal. As it stands, the Habs are going to have to make a decision between Tokarski and Budaj as to who wins the backup job behind Price.
Tokarski requires waivers to be sent back to AHL Hamilton, so that's no small factor, especially when you consider how he opened eyes in the Eastern Conference finals while replacing an injured Price. And, of course, the veteran Budaj would also require waivers. It might very well be that during camp and/or preseason another NHL team has an injury that prompts it to phone Montreal GM Marc Bergevin inquiring about either Tokarski or Budaj.
As for Brodeur, who sits only 12 regular-season wins away from 700 in his career, he just needs to wait for a fit somewhere.
Case in point last season came when Ilya Bryzgalov was in the exact same position and a need was created in Edmonton after the Oilers' goaltending got off to a brutal start; or in Nashville, when Pekka Rinne was injured long-term and the Preds needed goaltending. Stuff happens and Brodeur is ready to wait for it.
"But it has to be right; Marty isn't going to jump at just anything," Brisson said.
"I believe that at one point in the near future a team will have the luxury to have Marty Brodeur," Brisson said. "While he is ready to exercise some patience, it will have to be the right fit and more importantly a chance to help a team win. His level of his competitive experience is extremely impressive. Someone will recognize it when the right time comes."
Meanwhile, the door in New Jersey is certainly shut tight.
"We've got Scott Clemmensen that we signed and certainly have two young goaltenders in [Keith] Kinkaid and [Scott] Wedgewood," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told ESPN.com on Thursday in terms of backup options behind starter Cory Schneider.
"There are no issues there at all with Marty. This was a mutual decision. Marty and I met postseason, everyone knows our relationship. But this is the direction we're going."
Once Brodeur retires, however, one can bet he'll find his way back to Lamoriello if he wants a job in the Devils organization.
Devils could be making moves
Trades aren’t easy to pull off at this time of year, when most teams want to see what they have at least for a month or two before they start to contemplate changes.
Not that the Devils are pressing, either, but they've got bodies up front that could move.
"We'll just wait and see, we certainly have some extra forwards," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told ESPN.com on Thursday. "We've made the decision to go with the young defensemen but we've got a couple of extra forwards. We'll just listen, there's nothing we have to do, we're in a good position cap-wise, we'll just wait and see what transpires."
Jaden Schwartz update
The Ryan Johansen contract impasse in Columbus is certainly the big one right now, but under the radar there's an interesting one in St. Louis, as well.
Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, 22, is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level deal and remains unsigned.
Because Schwartz has played only two NHL seasons (which includes the lockout-shortened year) and doesn't have arbitration rights, obviously there's only so much he can ask for.
While neither side in the negotiation wanted to comment on what's transpiring, I'm guessing given that Ondrej Palat got three years with an average cap hit of $3.33 million with the Tampa Bay Lightning, that's a comparable on some level, especially since Palat had only one NHL season under his belt.
Because it's believed both the Blues and agent Wade Arnott of Newport Sports are focusing on a two-year bridge deal for Schwartz, I'd shave off a bit of money on the shorter-term deal. Could $2.5 million or $2.75 million a year make it work? My guess is Newport would want as close to $3 million as possible and the Blues are likely in the low-$2 million range. Both sides need to bridge the gap here but I don't sense there's as much of an issue here compared to the Johansen-Blue Jackets situation.
Koivu's incredible journey
It was a treat to listen to Saku Koivu on Wednesday as he talked about his decision to retire and the incredible journey that his NHL career indeed was.
It's interesting that he talked about how when the Anaheim Ducks' season ended in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings, which we knew was Teemu Selanne's last game for sure, Koivu said he told Selanne after the game that he thought it might his, too.
I'm not surprised. I remember walking past the Ducks room after the game and Koivu was hugging his kids and it just felt like he was soaking it all in as a final moment. It would indeed turn out to be his last NHL game.
His comeback from cancer in 2002 and his contributions in a first-round upset of Boston will forever be etched in our memories. We throw around words like "courage" and "character" way too much in sports media, but in this particular case, they actually apply absolutely perfectly to Saku Koivu.
He'll be missed.