Marty party to continue in New Jersey

Carey Price has accepted a six-year deal with the Canadiens

Carey Price has accepted a six-year deal with the Canadiens

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

The question has often been posed, what mystical force keeps so many star players tied to the New Jersey Devils?

Martin Brodeur was asked that again Monday when he agreed to another two-year hitch after several teams gave chase in his half-day window of free agency.

It could be that Zach Parise elects to remain a Devil as well when he sorts through the mega-million offers that came his way this week. New York and Philadelphia are close by, but neither inspire the loyalty many show to the three-time Cup champions, financial woes and all.

“It’s the way things operate there,” said Brodeur, looking for the right words on a conference call. “They make you accountable every day. Maybe it’s not fun for you guys (the Devils are one of the NHL’s most straight-laced teams with the media), but it’s a discipline and commitment of every single year. It’s the travel arrangement we have (perfectly located in the Atlantic Division).

“When you grow into the organization (Brodeur, Parise and Patrik Elias are career Devils) you don’t know anything (else).”

Johan Hedberg, who has agreed to come back as Brodeur’s understudy, added that you don’t know if the grass will be greener elsewhere. When Brodeur signed, he immediately called Parise to coax him back.

Brodeur’s $9 million US deal might not be his last here, though he would be 42.

“I’m committed to two years and I’ll honour it no matter what happens (with the CBA talks),” he said. “This is what I wanted all along. Two years seems appropriate for me to leave the game, but we’ll see if I’m able to play.”

All Brodeur wanted in the end was for general manager Lou Lamoriello to match the two-year deal other teams broached him with.

“The Devils weren’t ready to do that for a little while,” Brodeur said. “It was a pretty easy decision after that. If there was no interest around the league (in two-year offers), I’d be right back to Lou.”

As mentioned, among the most aggressive teams in search of Brodeur were the Leafs, who hoped to sell him not just on term and money, but the warm welcome he had received as their ticket to the playoffs and a fine role model for young goalies in the system. And it would be a very short walk from the Air Canada Centre to the Hall of Fame. Ironically, Brodeur’s record against the Leafs is one of his worst versus the NHL.

Price is right

Another top-drawer goalie came to terms on Monday when Carey Price accepted a six-year deal from the Canadiens for $39 million. If the Habs get any better in front of him, they’ll not only be able to make the playoffs but get through a couple of rounds as they did in the spring of 2010. Price doesn’t even turn 25 until next month and has already won 120 games.

Still with the Canadiens, Larry Robinson says he’s not bitter that new coach Michel Therien chose J.J. Daigneault to fill the last assistant’s vacancy. “I understand the Canadiens had to get going, they couldn’t wait,” Robinson told the Montreal Gazette.

Robinson had been unable to personally pursue the matter the past few days after Hurricane Debby lashed his off-season home in Florida, damaging the 12-acre stable/polo horse facility on his property.

Where’s the Rad-u-love?

Barely three months ago, the Nashville Predators rolled out the red carpet a second time for Alexander Radulov.

Now that he’s back in the KHL with the old Red Army team, which a four-year deal according to Yahoo Sports worth $9.2 million a year, many Predator fans couldn’t be happier. He’s slighted the team twice, jumping to the KHL in 2008 while still under contract and then getting embroiled in a curfew violation this year, a one-game suspension that distracted from Nashville’ playoff drive.

Red Army, which bought his rights from Salavat Yulaev, signed his brother Igor to help entice him there.

Ice Chips

You have to admire Carolina’s chutzpah, first getting Jordan Staal and then going hard after Parise and Ryan Suter. But GM Jim Rutherford was told Monday his team was not in the running for Parise or Suter ... The Sabres have a new threat in the middle, obtaining Steve Ott from Dallas with Adam Purdy in exchange for Derek Roy. The abrasive Ott is not only good on the draw, he draws opponents into retaliation calls, though teams such as Toronto won’t miss facing Roy. Buffalo and Montreal’s push for size has a lot to do with catching up to the Boston Bruins, still the toughest team in the Northeast ... The lure of playing in his home province helped Jason Garrison into the Canucks camp at six years for $27.6 million. Garrison’s 16 goals last year were third among NHL defencemen behind Shea Weber and Erik Karlsson ... Centre Jiri Hudler has escaped the shadow of Detroit’s big scorers and gone to the Calgary Flames for four years at $16 million. Not a big man, but the Flames can use the help up front.


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