Has Martin Brodeur made his last save for the New Jersey Devils? Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
NHL Free Agency for 2012 opens on Sunday, and the question for the New Jersey Devils is this: Can they keep the team that reach the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals together?
SB Nation's In Lou We Trust looks at what the Devils are doing to prepare for free agency. In Lou says this about Parise and Brodeur:
Yes, it's entirely possible that the Devils could lose their captain and third best forward from 2011-12 as well as the most accomplished goaltender of our time in the same summer. The former would create a serious hole in their top six at forward. The latter may be inevitable but it sure would be strange to see Brodeur on any other team. Either going elsewhere would be difficult to overcome. There really isn't a replacement for Parise available. There really isn't a starting goaltender on the UFA market, unless you have a lot of faith into Scott Clemmensen playing more than 40 games in a NHL season for the first time ever. (And don't suggest Martin Biron, he's off the market.) That said, the team would be wise not to throw everything at either to retain them. Parise really isn't worth Rick Nash money (though Rick Nash isn't worth Rick Nash money), and Martin Brodeur definitely isn't worth $5.2 million (his salary last season) anymore. It's an open question to what he really is worth given the big split between his first few months and the last few along with the playoffs. As dr(d)evil correctly suggested in this comment, perhaps that's the only reason why he's testing the market - to literally test it.
NHL.com reports that the Devils have $25.8 million in cap space entering free agency.
Complete list of Devils' free agents [from TSN]
Available UFAs:G Martin Brodeur, G Johan Hedberg, D Jay Leach, F Brad Mills, F Kory Nagy, G Timo Pielmeier, F Alexei Ponikarovsky, F Zach Parise, D Bryce Salvador, F Tim Sestito, F Petr Sykora, D Matt Taormina
Available RFAs: D Matt Corrente, D Mark Fayne, F Vladimir Zharkov