NEWARK, N.J. -- Retired NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur has no regrets over how he ended his career after setting numerous records and winning three Stanley Cup championships as a member of the New Jersey Devils.
In Brodeur's eyes, playing the final seven games of his career with the St. Louis Blues was all part of his incredible journey.
"You know what, I'm at peace with that decision," Brodeur told NHL.com. "Looking back, I have zero regrets in how I closed out my career. In the perfect storm finishing up as a member of the Devils would have been great but I never thought it would happen that way, never saw it coming."
The Devils announced Tuesday they will retire Brodeur's No. 30 on Feb. 9 at Prudential Center; a statue of Brodeur will also be built outside Prudential Center in Championship Plaza.
Brodeur played 21 seasons with the Devils, but did not re-sign with them prior to 2014-15 when they determined Cory Schneider was their No. 1 goalie. The Blues signed Brodeur to a one-year contract in December 2014 after Brian Elliott sustained a knee injury.
Many Devils fans and even some former players couldn't get over the fact Brodeur would actually join another organization not only as a player, but to serve in a management role. When Brodeur announced his retirement as a player, he joined the Blues' front office as senior adviser to general manager Doug Armstrong in January 2015. He signed a three-year contract to become assistant general manager on May 20.
"Just that little transition I did last year kind of gave me a clean slate with everything; I was happy what I did in New Jersey, happy that I got a little experience somewhere else, and then could move on," Brodeur said. "It's all good. It's something a lot of people talked about all the time. Obviously it's hard for players to move on and do something else, but I have zero regret with my accomplishments and my journey from my first game as a Devil to my last game [as a Blue]."
Former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko, who had his No. 3 retired by the Devils on March 24, 2006, said it's nice to have some sense of closure by having Brodeur's jersey retired at Prudential Center.
"I consider it an honor to have played with him and I consider him a friend," Daneyko said. "I see how proud he is of this moment. He earned the right to explore things but this is all about Marty and his accomplishments.
"Hey, I'm a fan as well and I needed closure after he went to St. Louis. He's an iconic athlete and he saw the game from a different light and it wasn't our decision [to tell him what to do]. I feel at ease now and I'm sure the fans do too."
Brodeur said there are so many things he enjoys as an assistant GM in St. Louis. He's even beginning to provide quotes that sound more managerial than player.
"I like discovering what we have in our organization; I feel like I need to follow the first six guys we took in the 2015 NHL Draft," Brodeur said. "I try to follow them every day, check out their stats. I want to do it because I feel that's the most important way to build a franchise, by growing within and having an idea where your players are at all times."
Brodeur said he and Armstrong recently took a trip to Michigan State University to evaluate the progress of forward Mackenzie Maceachern, the Blues' third-round pick (No. 67) in the 2012 NHL Draft. He also visited Providence College to watch defenseman Jake Walman (2014 draft, No. 82). He's also excited about the future prospects of defensemen Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson, who each will open the season on the Blues roster.
"It's really cool to see these guys mature and earn roster spots; even though I had nothing to do with the selections of Parayko and Edmunson," Brodeur said. "But I have input and some say in their development and that's great."
Daneyko is glad Brodeur is able to do the things he feels most comfortable in his new role in hockey. He's looking forward to celebrating with current and past players and fans on Feb. 9 when Brodeur's number is officially raised to the rafters.
"I'll be honored to [have my jersey] somewhere next to his in the rafters because he's arguably the greatest goaltender of all time," Daneyko said.