In what was undoubtedly one of the easiest decisions ever for the selection committee, long-time New Jersey Devils and brief St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur has been chosen for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. If you read anything on this site, you know exactly who Martin Brodeur is and how important he is to the history of hockey, especially for New Jersey’s team. Brodeur is joined by Willie O’Ree, Martin St. Louis, Gary Bettman, Alexander Yakushev and Jayna Hefford. Each bring their own accomplishments and important contributions to the sport of hockey and they encompass a worthy and diverse class.
However, we’re here for the New Jersey Devils so let’s discuss how Brodeur earned his place here.
Here’s a great breakdown of Brodeur’s accomplishments and accolades written by Gerard Lionetti back in 2016 when Marty’s number was set to fly up to the rafters at The Rock. Just to pick out a few, he was a nine-time participant in the All-Star Game, four-time Vezina trophy winner, five-time Jennings trophy winner, two-time Gold Medalist, Calder trophy despite not being the first goalie selected in his draft and of course, three-time Stanley Cup Champion. He has the most wins, most saves, most shutouts and most games played by a goaltender but his influence goes well beyond the counting stats.
Brodeur revolutionized the position of goalkeeper. The signature trapezoid behind the net exists because he gave the Devils a competitive advantage with his puckhandling (and occasional goal scoring skills):
He was essentially a third defenseman and that part of his game was the secret weapon that enabled the Devils defensemen to start plays further up the ice with the trust that Brodeur would get them the puck cleanly and safely.
Oh, and also, he was a pretty decent goalie:
He was the last stalwart of the hybrid goaltending style and is cited as an influence by almost every young goaltender playing in today’s NHL. He made the routine look amazing and he made the amazing look routine en route to what will be remembered as a top five NHL goaltender career if not a top five NHL career in general.
As you watch the induction ceremony and subsequent interviews with Brodeur, please keep this video tribute to him (narrated by Kiefer Sutherland) in mind:
It was a privilege to watch him play and as he continues his career as an executive for the St. Louis Blues, Devils fans and hockey fans will never forget his influence as he is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Almost as impressive as his statue outside the Prudential Center!
Let us know some of your favorite Martin Brodeur moments in the comments.