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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Fresh off his new deal with New Jersey, legendary goalie Martin Brodeur didn’t mince words Tuesday about locking up captain Zach Parise.
“It’s imperative,” Brodeur told WFAN’s Marc Malusis and Kim Jones. “I think we need to have him back.”
The Devils star has held the hockey world in limbo over his decision since the start of free agency Sunday. New Jersey wants to re-sign Parise, while Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Nashville and Detroit are among the teams vying for his services.
Brodeur said he’s had several discussions with Devils brass regarding the 27-year-old forward, and insisted the long wait shouldn’t indicate doom and gloom. It might actually be a positive.
“It’s looking good,” he said. “He’s taking his time to make the right decision. The longer he waits, it means that he’s thinking about the Devils a lot. I’m sure a lot of teams are throwing a lot of money and a lot of promises (at) him. But he’s been a Devil all his career, and that’s something that’s tough to give up.”
LISTEN: Brodeur with Malusis & Jones
“I think so. I really think so,” said Brodeur. “But I had the same thing with other players and they never came back. So who knows what’s gonna happen?”
The Devils’ first-round draft choice in 2003, Parise has 410 points and 194 career goals with New Jersey. He scored 31 goals this year in his seventh season with the franchise, his first as captain.
Meanwhile, coming off their run to the Stanley Cup finals, the Devils inked Brodeur to a two-year, $9 million deal on Monday. The goalie sent shock waves through the fan base when it was reported he would test free agency last week.
“What the Devils were ready to do before the deadline wasn’t what I was looking for at this stage in my career,” said Brodeur. “So I kind of (felt) out some different options just in case the Devils weren’t gonna come around. … Finally they were able to give me that extra year I was looking for — and we made it happen.”
Brodeur admitted the very thought of wearing another uniform was “one of the toughest things” he had to endure during the process.
“It would have been really hard. This is all I know, and actually I didn’t want to know anything else,” he said. “It’s all behind us now. We’ll move on and hopefully (I’ll) retire as a Devil.”
Do you agree that the long wait actually favors NJ? Be heard in the comments below!