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Brodeur now U.S. citizen, but remains loyal to Canada

by Dan Rosen
NEWARK, N.J. -- Don't worry Canada, Martin Brodeur still belongs to you. Now, though, the New Jersey Devils goalie also officially can have a say in whether Barack Obama will deserve a second term as President of the United States.

Brodeur on Tuesday morning in a quiet ceremony inside the Peter W. Rodino Federal Building here officially became a U.S. citizen.

He correctly answered all six questions asked of him on the citizenship exam and then raised his right hand and pledged allegiance to the country he has been living and working in since the mid-1990s.

"One question was tough was about a branch of government, but I got it right and it just took me about two seconds," Brodeur said. "They ask you to study 100 questions and they only give you 10. If you get your first six right -- you need 60 percent -- they don't ask you any more. I was six-for-six. I studied really hard. I didn't want to mess it up."

Becoming a dual citizen was important to Brodeur because all five of his children -- including a son born just nine days ago -- are American citizens and he has spent his entire adult life living at least eight or nine months out of the year in New Jersey. He plans to live here after he retires, too.

"Trust me, when I told my mom I passed she said, 'Don't forget where you came from,'" Brodeur said. "I said, 'Don't worry,' but this is something that I'm excited that it's happened in my life. My kids are all American. I love being in the States, but for sure I will always have a home in Canada."

Brodeur said he barely was recognized when he went for the test. He wanted to do it quietly and discreetly because it's a private thing for him.

He parked at Prudential Center at around 7:30 a.m. and was back in the building by 9. The entire process only took an hour, he said.

"The whole atmosphere, just going up there and being in that ceremony room with all the flags and the cutout of Obama, I thought was pretty neat," Brodeur said. "Getting sworn in, taking the oath, it was all pretty cool."

Brodeur said he would take his study materials on team flights to help him prepare. The Devils have eight U.S.-born players and Brodeur tried to study with some of them, but he said they had no clue on some of the topics.

"Half the guys didn't know the answers," he said. "I could probably ask you and it would be the same."

That bit of factual information notwithstanding, Brodeur admits he probably now knows more about history and the way government works in the United States than he does about Canada.

"It was interesting and a lot of fun for me to go through that process," he said. "It made me understand a lot more about this country, how it's set up and how everything works."

It won't, however, change his allegiance to his country of birth.

Zach Parise tried to start a controversy about Brodeur changing sides to play for the Americans in the upcoming Olympics, but IIHF rules won't allow it since he's already played for Canada in international events.

Not that Brodeur would even consider it anyway.

"A lot of players (get dual citizenship) throughout their career," Brodeur said, "but it doesn't change my loyalty to Hockey Canada, that's for sure."

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