Wednesday January 14th, 2015

It looks like end of the line for Martin Brodeur in St. Louis. And quite likely the end of his legendary career.

The Blues announced today that the Hall of Fame-bound goaltender has been granted a one-week leave of absence from the team. At the end of that period, Brodeur's future with the organization will be addressed.

It's not too hard to read between the lines here. Now that starter Brian Elliott has proved to be 100 percent recovered from the knee injury that led the team to sign Brodeur in the first place, there's no reason to keep the veteran on board.

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According to several media reports, Brodeur was at the team's practice facility today but didn't take part in on-ice drills—a sign, perhaps, that he was being shopped.

It might be coincidence then that the leave was revealed just minutes after the goaltender-starved Wild announced that they had acquired Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes. Or maybe it's not. Brodeur wasn't bad for the Blues. In seven games he posted a 3-3-0 record to go along with a 2.87 GAA, an .899 save percentage and one shutout. But at 42, and with a desire to play heavy minutes, he's a tough fit—even for a team as desperate as the Wild.

The separation then makes sense for both sides. For the Blues, it's allows them to focus on the two goaltenders they plan to use going forward without the distraction of a third keeper at practice. It also gives GM Doug Armstrong a few more days to test the waters to see if someone is willing to give Brodeur a chance.

And for Brodeur, well, maybe it gives him a few days to get his head around the idea that he's finally out of options. No easy thing for a man with his legacy and his pride.

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