There are no hints dropped from the Great Brodeur upon being asked whether this 18th season might be the final one of his NHL career.

There is, though, a vow from the 39-year-old goaltender, as good at his craft as anyone who has ever played the position, and the promise as told to Slap Slaps on Friday is this:

"I will make the decision before somebody makes it for me," the Devils' netminder said. "No one will have to tell me when it's time for me to go."

Martin Brodeur played his first game for the Devils on March 26, 1992, three years, one month and 28 days before Mariano Rivera first stepped on the mound for the Yankees; three years, two months and three days before Derek Jeter played his first game in pinstripes.

The goaltender will one day be on our sports Mount Rushmore, with Rivera, Jeter and a very select group of players who arrived as teenagers and grew into men here, all the time epitomizing professionalism while delivering multiple championships — all the while the essence of the teams they represent.