For one night, Martin Brodeur
is going old school.
Brodeur will wear a recreation of the mask he used in his NHL debut when the Devils don their red and green throwback uniforms against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. GET TICKETS
“I think it’s fun,” Brodeur said. “I’m the only guy (here) that played in that jersey. When I heard about it, I thought, ‘It would be awesome if I could dress exactly as much as possible.’”
The retro mask was painted by artist Sylvie Poitras, who also did Brodeur's current MB30 design. The vintage paint job includes scuffs and puck marks to simulate the patina of game play.
Drafted by the Devils in 1990, Brodeur was a member of the QMJHL’s now defunct St. Hyacinthe Laser when he was called up for four NHL appearances in 1991-92.
Injuries to both Chris Terreri and Craig Billington forced Brodeur's double-emergency recall from juniors, and he made 24 saves in his debut to beat the Boston Bruins, 4-2, on March 26, 1992.
Back then, Brodeur's mask featured a simple red design with white stripes and the word “Laser” stenciled on the sides. He used a blue catching glove and blocker which matched St. Hyacinthe’s red, white and blue Montreal Canadiens-style uniforms.
But once Brodeur got his chance in New Jersey, “Devils” replaced “Laser” on his mask. The blue gloves stayed, though they clashed with the Devils’ colors at the time: red, green and white.
As much as he could, Brodeur aimed to have his equipment mimic his look from 18 years ago.
“I’ve got sticks that are matching the sticks that I played with,” Brodeur explained. “I used to play with Sher-Wood way back before I played with Reebok, so I got them to make them again.”
He drew the line, however, at gloves and pads. Neither will change from the red and black he uses with the Devils’ current uniforms.
“I just couldn’t do the blue gloves; that was the only thing that was tougher to do,” he said.
The all-time wins leader, Brodeur has won three Stanley Cups and recently added a second Olympic gold medal with Team Canada at the Vancouver Games. One thing he doesn’t have, though, is a mask bearing that original design. It was eventually repainted into a Devils mask, sparing him the cost of having a new one made at the time.
“I think for the fans that saw me play (then) it will be pretty cool,” he said. “And it’s a souvenir to keep.”