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Brodeur envisions bigger role in Devils front office

Former goalie said he could eventually take on duties similar to other team presidents

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Martin Brodeur said he envisions his move into the New Jersey Devils hockey operations department could eventually lead to a similar role as other former players who became team presidents around the NHL.

"That's probably a bit of the role that I feel I'm going to be able to execute here with the upper management and the managing partners," Brodeur said on the NHL @TheRink podcast Thursday when asked about what Brendan Shanahan does with the Toronto Maple Leafs, John Davidson with the New York Rangers and Cam Neely with the Boston Bruins. All hold titles as president and are in charge of hockey operations.

The Devils announced Sunday that Brodeur, the Hockey Hall of Fame goalie who was their executive vice president of business development, will take on an advisory role in hockey operations. The move was announced at the same time the Devils fired general manager Ray Shero and replaced him with Tom Fitzgerald, who was the assistant GM.

"It's been only a few days into this and we're going to have more conversations, but the first week we're into this they value what I have to say, and it's fun," Brodeur said. "Titles are titles. For me, I'm there to advise and put this ship back on track. We have a lot of good things in place. I think Ray and his people did a tremendous job, just the performance wasn't there. We've got to get to that eventually, and soon. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Video: NHL Now discusses the firing of Ray Shero.

Brodeur, the winningest goalie in NHL history (691-397-49 with 105 ties), said he wasn't planning a move into hockey operations and that Shero's firing came as a bit of a surprise to him. However, the 47-year-old said he was excited to get back into the hockey side after being an assistant GM for the St. Louis Blues from 2015-18. Brodeur, despite working for the Devils, is based in St. Louis.

"I have a 10-year-old at home that in my playing career I didn't have much time to spend time with my kids because they grew up as my career was going on, but now I have time to spend with him and I value that a lot," said Brodeur, who played his first 21 NHL seasons with the Devils, winning the Stanley Cup three times, before playing seven games for the Blues in 2014-15. "But saying that, I'm jumping all in here with the Devils, with Tom Fitzgerald, to look over and see what the future could be for the Devils. I'm really excited for the opportunity. But it wasn't really expected, trust me."

Brodeur, who was with the Devils for their road game against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, said he is early in the evaluation process and needs time to help put a plan in place for the future of the team.

"I haven't paid much attention because I didn't expect to jump back into hockey right away, or like this anyway," Brodeur said. "I've been on the road with the team, kind of looking from far a little bit at what's going on to be able to have a better understanding of what's going on, how the franchise is made, how they do it throughout the organization from our minor leagues to our development to our scouting, what's going on around the hockey operations side. After that I'll be able to make a better decision. Right now, it's way too early for me to understand exactly what the issues are because I haven't paid attention because I wasn't part of hockey operations at all."

New Jersey fired coach John Hynes on Dec. 3 and replaced him with Alain Nassredine. The Devils (17-22-7) were 5-3-2 in their past 10 games to pass the Ottawa Senators for third-to-last in the Eastern Conference entering play Thursday.

Brodeur said the key is to be able to put a plan in front of Devils managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer that they can be comfortable with, and that patience is key.

"It'll be a process, no doubt," Brodeur said. "Right now, there are a lot of vacancies, a lot of interims with the coaches and GM. Everything has got to be addressed."

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