Martin Brodeur: Time to Call it Quits
These last few years have been tough on Brodeur, his Devils were abysmal last year, and it was probably the worst season of his career. His early season 900 save percentage didn’t help as the Devils basically were out of playoff contention by December, and for the first time in over a decade they missed the playoffs. In the 2010 Olympics he started as Canada’s #1 Goalie but was replaced by Roberto Luongo. In 2008-09 he spent much of the season injured with one of the few major injuries of his career. Since the NHL lockout he has not been experiencing the same playoff success that was such a trademark of his pre-lockout days. Some good regular seasons have been in there, but the devils have been victims of first round losses, many of those involving guys like Cam Ward, Henrik Lundqvist, and Marty Biron, outplaying Brodeur.
As I watched the Devils game against the Leafs on Wednesday, I saw a goalie who is a shadow of his former self. He shows flashes (see the incredible save on Kessel), but its just that now, flashes. He can remind us of the old Brodeur, but the fact is that if you watch him for long stretches, he’s not the brilliant guy we remember. The reflexes are slower, more pucks find holes, and he just isn’t leading his team the same way as he used to.
Sure some might say, he’s Marty Brodeur, and he’s still one of the best 30 goalies in the world, and deserves to be an NHL starter. Thats probably true. He’s still one of the 30 best goalies in the league, but for Marty; thats not good enough IMO. Brodeur was a star, an elite goalie. A guy who was the world’s best goalie for a long time, and never outside the top 3. Being just an average to below average NHL starter isn’t good enough. Thats not the way he should go out, and thats not the way this sure fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer should be remembered.
So Marty, for the good of your legacy, for the good of your fans, for the good of the league, its time. Take your victory lap now, let us know this is your last year…. get your standing ovation in nearly every rink in the NHL (Philly and MSG might be tough) but let us salute you and give you a farewell party to remember. But please, retire now, before your skill goes even further and you end up as the backup of the Devils. No one wants to see you hang around for 2 or 3 more years and see you go out that way.
And thats the last word….