ST. LOUIS - Martin Brodeur’s next game will be played wearing a Blue Note.
And it will happen sooner rather than later, because after Tuesday's practice, the Blues signed Brodeur to a one-year contract.
“It feels great,” Brodeur told stlouisblues.com. “I really appreciate the opportunity for me to be here the last few days. It definitely worked out real well. I’m excited for this fresh start.”
Brodeur joined the Blues for practice last week after starter Brian Elliott sustained a lower-body injury on Nov. 25 vs. Ottawa. With Elliott labeled week-to-week and a lack of experienced depth behind rookie Jake Allen, Blues GM Doug Armstrong felt he needed to bring in some help.
“Marty still has the desire to compete and his resume speaks for itself,” Armstrong said. “It seemed like an easy solution.”
Brodeur, who was a free agent after not signing with New Jersey in the summer, is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins (688) and shutouts (124). A 10-time NHL All-Star, Brodeur has won three Stanley Cup Championships and led the NHL in wins nine times and shutouts on five different occasions.
He’s also won the Vezina Trophy four times and the Jennings Trophy five times, while also finishing in the top five of the Hart Trophy voting seven times.
Overall, he’s compiled a 688-394-176 record to go along with a 2.24 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
“It’s going to feel great, it’s going to definitely be different,” Brodeur said about wearing blue and gold instead of red and white. “Not just for me, but for the fans. I’ve turned the page, and this is a new beginning that hopefully will come off with something great.”
Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said yesterday that if Brodeur signed with the Blues, he’d play.
“If he’s here, he’s going to play,” Hitchcock said. “We’ll figure out what game it is and what games they are, but if he’s here, he’s going to play. He’s not going to back up.”
Blues players, including defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, are excited to have him around.
"He certainly has a good track record," Pietrangelo said. "To have 688 wins, that's pretty impressive. He's one of the best all-time. To see him sitting in our room is pretty special."
The 42-year-old goaltender, who has accomplished nearly everything there is to accomplish in the game, will join the Blues for their road trip this week to Chicago, Nashville and Long Island.
And he’s just 12 wins shy of reaching 700 in his illustrious career.
“Hockey’s fun,” he said. “I just couldn’t see myself stopping right now. I’m glad I have the opportunity to continue it.”