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Brodeur retires, named senior adviser to Blues GM

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 2:22 PM / News

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

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Brodeur retires, named senior adviser to Blues GM
Martin Brodeur, one of the most decorated goaltenders in NHL history, officially announced his retirement as a player during a press conference at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday.

ST. LOUIS -- Goalie Martin Brodeur ended his playing career the same way he started it: with a big smile on his face.

Brodeur, who established some of the greatest goaltending records in NHL history, including 691 wins and 125 shutouts, announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday after a 22-year career, which included a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues. Brodeur will immediately join their front office as senior adviser to general manager Doug Armstrong.

When Brodeur, who spent the first 21 years of his career with the New Jersey Devils and won the Stanley Cup three times, signed a one-year, $700,000 contract in December that included incentives, he said he wasn't ready to let go of the game that meant so much to him.

As he stood at the podium with a suit and tie inside the Bud Light Zone at Scottrade Center, it was evident he finally had closure, even though there was the sense Brodeur feels like he can still play if needed.

"This is a great day for me," Brodeur said. "… This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. This is a great opportunity that the St. Louis Blues organization, (owner) Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong are giving me and trusting me in doing. … This is going to be a great challenge for me."

Brodeur, who took a two-week leave of absence recently to discuss his future with his family, came to the conclusion that after the Blues indicated they were going to move forward with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen as their goalies, he didn't want to be the No. 3. Brodeur was a healthy scratch his final eight games and decided to step away to get a broader perspective of what he wanted to do.

His final game was Jan. 2 against the Anaheim Ducks, a 4-3 loss. His final victory was a 16-save, 3-0 shutout against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 29.

"That's what kind of pushed me to say, 'You know what, it looks like they're going to want to go with Jake and [Elliott],' and if [Elliott] didn't get hurt, I was never going to be here," Brodeur said. "It was a great opportunity and just to not be a part of it makes me think I want to help them as much as I can, but it's hard when you don't play and you're not around the guys. I stayed a little bit and after that, it was not going to change. We had conversations and that's the direction they wanted to take, but they want me to stay around. I'm 42 years old. I don't need to stay in the middle of the ice and try to avoid people."

The Blues maintained they wanted Brodeur to stay in the organization in some capacity, and when it became clear they couldn't commit to him being more than a No. 3 goalie, a spot in the front office, something Brodeur has said in the past interested him, presented itself.


"He's going to travel with our team on a daily basis; he's going to interact with our players and our coaches," Armstrong said. "Our goals are very simple here in St. Louis for this team, and it's to prepare and ultimately win a Stanley Cup. When you look up here and see the number of Stanley Cups on this stage (included were Blues alumni Brett Hull, Al MacInnis and Bernie Federko), all these people we can tap into as we learn and move forward. We're very excited to have Marty join our organization in a different capacity."

Brodeur is already learning on the fly.

"For me, it's been a good transition because I'll be able to still have that adrenaline going because you care so much about the players," he said. "You want them to be good and I'm going to learn at the same time. This is what I'm going to want to do in the future, is try to manage a team. It's just a great opportunity, but traveling with the team, for me, keeps me kind of in the game at the same time and not behind the desk and looking at stats on the computer."

There were questions why Brodeur would announce his retirement in St. Louis rather than in New Jersey, with the organization that drafted him, groomed him, and has left the door open for him to come back in a similar capacity. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello and Brodeur have kept a line of communication for his return, one which Brodeur said is sure to happen, but when is the question.

"It would have been awkward to retire in New Jersey and take the job in St. Louis," Brodeur said. "That's kind of the way we went by it. For me, my hockey career's all about the Devils. Nobody's going to associate me with the Blues as a hockey player. Retirement arrangements will be made for New Jersey in the future. It could be this year, it could be next year; I don't know what's Lou's plan. I'm so appreciative of all the fans, the organization, and what they did for me.

"This is coming out of left field a little bit for everyone and it's hard to understand, but at the end of the day, it's what I wanted to do. I'm excited about the new challenge. The retirement part of it, that's why I didn't make a big speech thanking everybody because nobody's here. They're all going to be there (in New Jersey) when it's time."


Philadelphia 12
N.Y. Islanders 10
Montreal 9
Pittsburgh 9
N.Y. Rangers 9
Hartford/Carolina 9
Atlanta/Winnipeg 7
Washington 6
Ottawa 6
Florida 6
Tampa Bay 6
Colorado 5
Boston 4
Winnipeg/Arizona 4
Dallas 4
Toronto 3
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 2
Detroit 2
Columbus 2
Chicago 1
St. Louis 1
Vancouver 1
Calgary 1
Los Angeles 1
Minnesota 1
Edmonton 0
San Jose 0
New Jersey 0

Brodeur made a huge impact during his short time with the Blues.

"I've never learned so much in two months from a single guy," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "The knowledge of the game he has on the offensive side, the defensive side, just in general, it's pretty impressive.

"It's tough to see him retire, a guy of that stature who's had a lot of success in his career. We're glad to have him."

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who grew up watching Brodeur, agreed.

"To have the opportunity to really see him at a young age and see him walk in the locker room for me was a cool experience," said Shattenkirk, a New Rochelle, N.Y. native. "He's the greatest goalie that's ever played, and really just to say you've been able to play with him and get to know him as a person is a fun experience. He brought a lot of knowledge to our locker room and the short time that we had him is still going to be beneficial for us.

"… He's a guy that's accomplished everything, and that's not something that many people can say they've done."

Brodeur is committed to the Blues through the remainder of the 2014-15 season. Anything beyond that is uncertain.

"I didn't give any guarantee," Brodeur said. "I signed up to be here until the end of this season and help them out as much as I can. They might not want me either, we'll see.

"I'll be learning every facet of what a general manager needs to know. I'll be with [Armstrong] on the road. I'm sure when it's time for trades or whatever, we'll have some input and talk. I'll just touch on everything. I'm excited about that because I never wanted to be a coach, but who knows, after I see them go, maybe I'm going to say, 'You know what, maybe that's for me.'"

Letting go is the toughest part, but one Brodeur said he knew would come at some point. He said if not for Elliott's injury and Armstrong's subsequent phone call, a retirement press conference might have happened Jan. 1.

"The thing about hockey for me, I'm really competitive," Brodeur said. "I love to have fun. I'm leaving the game with a big smile on my face. I don't think if I would have done that last year, it would be the case.

"Three years ago, I was ready to retire and I had this great run in the playoffs (in 2011-12 with the Devils that ended in a Stanley Cup Final loss to the Los Angeles Kings) and that kind of jolted my career back up and I was able to get a two-year contract. But that last two years have been hard. I didn't enjoy it as much, and I wanted just one more place to go and enjoy the game and I was going to leave the game when I was happy. I found that here in St. Louis. I'm happy with it, my decision."


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