Yardbarker- The Hall of Famer opened up about the topic and admitted that he wanted a job in the New Jersey front office. Initially, the Devils didn’t offer Brodeur a job which led him to take a role with the Blues. After that, he held off on accepting a long-term job with the Blues as he had hoped to return to the Devils.
“[The Blues] offered me the job, and I had to think about it a little bit. I would have liked to go back to New Jersey, so it took some time for me to make my decision. But for me to go back there after everything that’s happened in New Jersey lately, I think I made the right move.”
“There’s nothing bad that happened with the Devils, at least from my side of things anyway. With all the new faces over there, for me to walk into the arena in New Jersey now would be like walking into any team’s arena for me because everyone is gone. It would be as if I was joining Pittsburgh instead.”
When it comes to the relationship between Martin Brodeur and The New Jersey Devils, I refuse to sit here and play the blame game. The fact of the matter is that timing is everything. At the time of Martin Brodeur's contract expiring he could have very easily retired from the sport and taken a position within the organization. I don't fault him for still having the desire to play, and scratching that itch with the St. Louis Blues. However, watching him play out his final games in St. Louis and subsequently taking a front office position with them last year had made his decision to work their long term much easier to accept.
As of the end of the end of this past season, the Devils needed a change. The team was old, and more importantly, the team was bad. Though they had to battle situations that were beyond their control (Parise leaving, Kovalchuk retiring), the Devils had become stagnant since their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. Whether they needed as much change as they have undergone this offseason is up for debate, but they certainly needed more than the addition of an inexperienced executive in Martin Brodeur.
What it comes down to is that Brodeur was clearly comfortable exploring other options, and so were the Devils. As much as the Devils fan base has become accustomed to a sense of loyalty and an atmosphere of familiarity, at some point that has to change. At some point you have to move on from your past. That's not to say you forget those that paved the way, but you still have to do what's best for your immediate future. Do I know that replacing Lou Lamoriello with Ray Shero, hiring a first time NHL head coach, and bringing in a host of other unfamiliar faces is the right thing for the future of this franchise? Nope. Only time will tell. However, one thing is for certain. The previous strategy clearly wasn't working, and while adding Brodeur to the front office would have given us all a nice little sense of nostalgia, it wouldn't have done much to change the current culture of the New Jersey Devils. I'll always appreciate everything that Martin Brodeur did for the franchise, and I hope at some point there is a job for him in the organization, but until then both sides are better off after an amicable split. There's no reason to point fingers when both parties did so much to help one another over the course of the two decades they spent together. As a Devils fan I hold no grudges against Marty for trying to prolong his career, and I hope he holds no grudges against the Devils for trying to get back to the formidable powerhouse he was once the face of. Sometimes it really is just business.