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Brodeur agrees to contract extension with Devils

SUNRISE, Fla. -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur
signed a six-year contract extension on Friday that will pay him
$31.2 million.

"I'm real happy, very excited," Brodeur said. "It's a great
opportunity for me to end my career here and stay close to my kids.
That was my huge concern going forward with the new league."

Brodeur is earning $5.237 million this season, his 13th with the
Devils -- the team that selected him with the 20th pick in the 1990
NHL draft.

This deal, reached hours before he and the Devils lost 4-0 to
the Florida Panthers, will give Brodeur the chance to play his
entire career with one club.

"I think it's going to get harder and hard to do," Brodeur
said. "I was in the position to be able to do it. I don't think
too many guys are going to be able to do that with the different
way the system works now."

Brodeur will be 40 when this contract runs out after the 2011-12
season. He will be paid $5.2 million for each of the next six
years.

"It's great for the organization, and certainly we all know
what he's done," Devils general manager and interim coach Lou
Lamoriello said. "Both parties are extremely pleased. He
accomplished what he would like to accomplish and I believe we
accomplished what we'd like to accomplish. It's as simple as
that."

Brodeur, Canada's No. 1 netminder at the upcoming Torino
Olympics, won the Vezina Trophy each of the past two seasons as the
NHL's top goalie. He has played in eight All-Star games and won
three Stanley Cup titles with New Jersey.

"He's been here since he's been 18. He says it all,"
Lamoriello said about Brodeur's desire to stay with the Devils.

Brodeur's deal will pay him below market value. An option year
for next season, in which Brodeur would've earned $6.08 million,
was tossed in favor of the extension.

"We looked at different possibilities that could help the
organization by structuring the contract different ways," Brodeur
said. "When you are able to put your salary over a lot of years
instead of just taking the bulk in your prime years, it clears up a
lot of that money [under the cap]. When you're able to do that, it
just helps your organization to do certain moves.

"If it were a shorter-term contract, it would have been a lot
different numbers."

Brodeur doesn't have an agent, and he and Lamoriello worked out
the deal together.

"We talked about a lot of things over a period of time,"
Lamoriello said. "It was just he and I."

Dallas' Marty Turco, one of Brodeur's Olympic backups, signed a
four-year contract worth $22.8-million in January.

Nikolai Khabibulin of the Chicago Blackhawks is the NHL's
highest-paid goalie. He left the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay
Lightning for a four-year deal worth $27 million -- an average of
$6.75 million a season.

Brodeur has 427 career victories in 784 NHL games with a 2.19
career goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

He might even stick with the Devils once his playing days are
done.

"That's something that we believe in our organization,"
Lamoriello said. "We want every player who ends up with us to be
part of us, no matter who it is."