June 6, 2012

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Will This Be Martin Brodeur’s Last NHL Game?

By: Matt Bowen

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012 feature New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who single-handedly owns every major record for a goalie in NHL history.

Could tonight be the last time we see Martin Brodeur on the ice?

Now that the Devils are down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, hockey fans are left to ponder whether or not Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be his last. Now 40 years old, Brodeur will become a free agent when the season ends and it will be interesting to see if the Devils bring Brodeur back for one more season.

His stats over his lustrous career speak for themselves; he ranks as the all-time best goaltender in games played(1,191), wins(656), losses(371), goals against(2,603), shots against(29,915), and saves(27,312).

While one could argue that his stats sit at No. 1 because he’s simply played more than anyone else in the history of the NHL, Brodeur has earned it. Players, especially goalies, don’t get to play based on their past accolades; they must prove that they are still worthy of time on the ice. Brodeur has won 30-plus games a remarkable seven times since turning the age of 30.

He’s a sports legend that deserves credit for playing with one team his entire career.  He’ll never don another NHL sweater and the league will never have another Brodeur. He’s won the Calder Memorial Trophy(Rookie of the Year), a four-time Vezina winner(best goaltender), three Stanley Cups and two Olympic Gold Medals with his native Canadian squad.

Coming into the Finals this year, many fans may have been thinking that there is no way that Brodeur would retire after the playoffs were done. All of a sudden, those thoughts are changing as the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer looks tired. Given, the Kings have steamrolled every team they’ve played this postseason, but Brodeur looks out of sync. It’s very difficult for a team in the NHL to make it to the Finals in any given season, nonetheless two years in a row and the chances of Brodeur playing any longer than one final season is a bit absurd.  

He still displays a competitive fire that’s hard to match, but knowing that the chance to win another Cup was so close yet unattainable may be enough for Brodeur to call it quits. If and when he decides to retire, he may as well have his own room in the Hall of Fame.