Martin Brodeur to retire, join Blues front office

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 3:58 PM
Louie Korac  - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Goaltender Martin Brodeur, whose 691 wins and 125 shutouts are most in NHL history, will announce his retirement and join the front office of the St. Louis Blues, the team announced Tuesday.

The Blues will hold a press conference at Scottrade Center on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET with Brodeur, who signed a one-year incentive-laden contract with the Blues on Dec. 2 after a knee injury to starting goalie Brian Elliott left them short at the position but had been on a leave of absence.

Brodeur will be joined by Blues general manager Doug Armstrong and Blues Hall of Fame members Bernie Federko, Brett Hull and Al MacInnis.

Brodeur, 42, holds multiple NHL records that may never be broken, including wins (691) and shutouts (125). His final shutout came Dec. 29 for the Blues in a 3-0 victory against the Colorado Avalanche, coached by Patrick Roy, whose wins record Brodeur broke.

Brodeur finishes his 22-year NHL career with a 691-397-176 record, a 2.24 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 1,266 appearances, all but seven coming with the New Jersey Devils. He holds regular-season NHL goaltending records for wins, shutouts, games played and minutes played (74,438), and in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs he ranks first in starts (204) and shutouts (24) and second in wins (113).

Brodeur has been away from the Blues for the past two weeks. He had fallen to third on the depth chart behind Elliott, who returned earlier this month, and Jake Allen. The opportunities to play had dried up and trade options never came to light.

Brodeur was 3-3-0 with a 2.87 GAA and .899 save percentage with the Blues.

"I was kind of surprised, shocked," Elliott said of Brodeur's decision. "He's been around for so long, watching him grow up and having a chance to be on the same team with him, it's not something you really expect. He's been a New Jersey Devil for so long and face of that franchise. He's got so many records, has been around the game for so long with three Stanley Cups … heck of a career.

"It's kind of sad to see a guy like him hang 'em up. I'm sure it's a tough decision, but I was grateful to be on the same team with him, if only for a little bit."

The Blues have maintained that Brodeur's decision was totally in his hands, but they wanted him to remain with the organization.

"The biggest thing you take away from it, for me anyway, is you have a certain appreciation for guys when you play against them," left wing Alexander Steen said. "But I think getting the chance to know Marty and the type of person he is off the ice, how competitive he is, and just how much you appreciated his true skill for the game … he has outstanding hockey sense, and I think that's the biggest thing that really grew on me was what an incredible goalie he was. Such a different style.

"He really grew and got better and better as the time went on that he was here. Obviously, it's no fun to hear that he's retiring, if that's the case. You always want to see those guys continuing to keep playing. You never want guys to stop playing, same thing with Teemu [Selanne]. It's obviously a tremendous honor and I'm extremely proud and happy to have had the chance to play with him."

Brodeur played 21 seasons with the Devils but did not re-sign with them this summer as they committed to Cory Schneider as their No. 1 goalie.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said Tuesday he spoke to Brodeur and Armstrong about Brodeur taking a front-office job with the Blues and that he supported the move. Lamoriello said he expects the job to be for the rest of the season and that Brodeur is welcome to rejoin the Devils in a front-office role at any time after that.

"He could have come here if he wanted," Lamoriello told NJ Advance Media. "I don't think this is a case of him choosing (between the two organizations). He's been there with the players. The (Blues) players and administration asked him to stay. He had an impact in the dressing room."

Lamoriello told NJ Advance Media he is confident Brodeur will rejoin the Devils at some point soon.

"Marty is a very loyal guy in both ways," Lamoriello said. "They gave him an opportunity (to play). There are a lot of things going through his mind right now. He'll be back with the Devils."

Brodeur appeared in 10 NHL All-Star Games and led the League in wins nine times, shutouts five times, and games played six times, including appearing in 70 or more games in 10 consecutive seasons from 1997-98 to 2007-08. He won the 1994 Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and won the Vezina Trophy four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008) and the Jennings Trophy five times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2010). Brodeur won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003, and was a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Canada (2002, 2010).

"Yeah, of course," Elliott said when asked if Brodeur's records will stand. "I think there's some games played records and shutouts … it's almost impossible to beat. I don't think he has to worry about losing those any time soon. We'll definitely shoot for them, but it is just awesome to be able to kind of stand on the same ice as a guy like that, especially when you look at the record books probably 50 years from now and you can be like, 'I played with that guy,' so it's cool."

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