Devils Right to Keep Brodeur
This is a player who when one thinks of a team, is the first to come to mind. It is something that is earned and something that means a lot to every professional sports franchise.
For the NHL's New Jersey Devils, this person is Martin Brodeur. Since being drafted by the organization as the 20th overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Brodeur has been everything and more to this franchise.
For starters, this is a goaltender that has led this franchise to three Stanley Cups. Brodeur, 41, helped the Devils win Cups in 1995, 2000, and 2003 and in each of those postseasons, he was the Devils' best player (never won a Conn Smythe as the league's most valuable player in the postseason).
Brodeur put New Jersey on the NHL map. When the Devils are on the road, thousands upon thousands of people come/would come to see Brodeur man the net and do what he does best.
It can be said that Brodeur has been the franchise's most loyal player. It is very rare these days that a player spends his entire career with one team, especially goaltenders, and yet, Brodeur has spent his entire 20-year-NHL career in New Jersey.
Brodeur has also brought name-recognition to the franchise. He has won and done the following in his career, all with the Devils:
- Is the league's all-time winningest goaltender (684 victories and counting)
- Is the league's all-time shutout leader (124 and counting)
- Has the most goals scored by a goaltender (Three including regular season and playoffs)
- Three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, and 2003)
- Two Gold Medals (2002 and 2010
- Four Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008
- A Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year (1994)
- Five William Jennings Trophies as the league's leader in least amount of goals allowed (1997 - shared with teammate Mike Dunham; 1998, 2003 - shared with Philadelphia Flyers' goaltenders Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche; and 2010)
- Has played in nine All-Star Games (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2007)
This is why it was crazy to think that at this year's NHL trade deadline, that there was a possibility that Devils' general manager Lou Lamoriello was going to trade the future Hall of Fame masked man. Yes, Brodeur's career is just about done and yes, he is no longer the starting netminder with Cory Schneider earning that role, but trading Brodeur would have been a mistake.
Brodeur deserves to finish his career with the team that he has spent his whole career with and the team that he has done everything for. He deserves to leave this game with the Devils' logo on his chest.
Lamoriello did the right thing and because of it, Brodeur will finish his career where he belongs - in New Jersey with the Devils.