Kukla's Korner Hockey
by David Pavlak on 08/05/11 at 05:59 PM ET
Martin Brodeur has done it all. From Stanley Cups to breaking records, his career with the New Jersey Devils has been nothing but spectacular. Something is coming up on Brodeur now that he has no control over, and which may very likely put his career to an end in the next couple seasons – age.
The 39-year-old goaltender has spent 18 seasons in the NHL, all with the Devils. He has won three Stanley Cups with the Devils in 95’, 00’and 03’. His list of awards is long enough that I will spare my readers the drawn out list. Let’s just say it is highlighted by four Vezina Trophies. He has also broken so many records both in the NHL and for the Devils franchise that I would hate to be the one having to rewrite the history books. Not to mention all the double-stacked pad saves, the on-the-back rollover saves and the left-handed glove puck snares from out of nowhere. Let’s not forget he has the ability to send Doc Emrick into a voice elevating shout of approval, and can make Chico Resch melt like butter with an incredible save. He has literally done it all.
This past season was different for Brodeur though. For the first time in his professional career with the Devils, he finished the year with a losing record (23-26). Injuries shortened his season to 56 games. The most notable difference in Brodeur from last season though would be that he lost a step. There were of course still flashes of brilliance from the ever capable goalie, but soft goals were still finding their way into the back of the net. The glove hand seemed slower, and at periods of the season, he seemed lost on the ice. It looks to me like it might be time for the savvy veteran to hang up the skates.
Let’s face it; the NHL is a faster paced game than it was years before. It is still mind-boggling that Nicklas Lidstrom is finding the juice to continue to play at 41 years old. His contract with the Devils is set to end in the 2011-12 season at the ripe age of 40. That should be the final curtain for Brodeur, who will obviously step away from the game as a hockey legend. Just because he is off the ice doesn’t mean I don’t see Brodeur still being an active member of the Devils organization. He could possibly join with Chris Terreri, the current goaltender coach, and become an assistant.
Backing up Brodeur currently is Johan Hedberg who is solid in a backup position, but would not be able to hold it together as the starter. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will most likely look for a veteran to come in for a few years while they work with a younger undeveloped goalie to make him NHL ready for the long haul.
As I said, Brodeur has done it all in his career. The 20th overall pick in the 1990 draft succeeded every expectation put his way, and will be able to walk away from the game knowing he played it the way he wanted too. With arguably the biggest shoes to fill when he leaves, the Devils will need to be able to strike gold twice in order to replace the great Martin Brodeur.
What do you think about Martin Brodeur? Leave a comment and let me know what you think about his career, achievements or anything else Brodeur or Devils related.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org