Alex Hoysradt, Staff Writer
After 22 seasons in the NHL, goaltending legend Martin Brodeur has decided to retire at the age of 42. With his retirement, Brodeur has joined the St. Louis Blues front office, the team whom he had played nine games with this season.
St. Louis signed the former New Jersey Devil midway through the season to fill in for injured starting goalie Brian Elliot. Besides this season, Brodeur had spent his previous 21 years with the New Jersey Devils, building a resume that makes him arguably the greatest goaltender ever.
Drafted by New Jersey in the 1990 NHL Draft, he would not make his professional debut until the 1991-1992 season, appearing in four games. For the next 20 years, Brodeur manned the Devils net with consistency and acrobatics. His rookie year was impressive as he took home the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. In 1994-1995, just his second full season, Brodeur and the Devils took home their first Stanley Cup as Brodeur dominated in the postseason. He posted a .927 Save Percentage and 1.67 Goals Against Average to go along with a 16-4 record. Since their first Stanley Cup, New Jersey was a lock to make the playoffs almost every season.
Marty and the high-powered Devils would go on to win two more Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003 and five Eastern Conference Titles in seventeen postseason campaigns. Brodeur’s last postseason appearance came in 2011-2012 at age 39 as New Jersey made it back to the Stanley Cup, but lost to the Los Angeles Kings. Over the course of his 21 seasons in New Jersey, Brodeur took home four Vezina awards (top goaltender), five Jennings trophies (fewest goals allowed in a season) and 10 All-Star nominations. He also won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in 2002 and 2010. It doesn’t stop there, take a look at NHL goaltending records and you will see a majority of them belong to Brodeur.
He has the most wins (691), losses (397), games played (1,266), minutes played (74,083), 40-win seasons (eight), playoff shutouts (24), regular season shutouts (125) and many more, but you get the picture.
Few have had as much success as Brodeur, or as big an impact on the game. Watch a hockey game today and you will notice red lines, a trapezoid, behind the goal signifying where the goalie can handle the puck behind the net. That trapezoid was created in response to Brodeur’s prowess as a passer and puck-handler, being referred to as the “Brodeur Rule.” His style of goaltending has been replicated by many goalies today. Brodeur used a hybrid style of both stand-up and butterfly techniques.
As Brodeur transitions into retirement and his new role with St. Louis, many ask the question, will he return to New Jersey? The answer to that is not will he, but when will he. A job with the Devils is inevitable, and he will make his return to the franchise that his name has become synonymous with. There are three things Devils and hockey fans can count regarding Brodeur: 1) he will return to New Jersey, 2) he will be a Hall of Famer and 3) his number 30 will hang in the rafters at Prudential Center.