The Devils Announced Martin Brodeur's Jersey Retirement, And The Construction Of A Statue In His Honor
I think enough time has passed and the wounds have healed well enough that we can finally come out and say it. Marty Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils didn't part on the greatest of terms. Whew, doesn't it feel better now getting it off your chest? The fact is that Marty wanted to continue to play, and I can't fault him for that. Just as I can't fault the Devils for wanting to give Cory Schneider a legitimate chance to take over the reigns as the number one goaltender in New Jersey. A lot of people were upset by Brodeur's decision to sign on to work in St. Louis, but I think it's time to realize that a changing of the guard was necessary. That's just how sports work. Not every conclusion is a storybook ending, but that doesn't mean that the story itself can't be a fairytale.
Marty will always be a Devil. He will always be the face of this franchise. He will always be at least partly, and at times mostly, responsible for every great moment we have had as Devils fans. The fact that he is sitting in a press box in the Midwest doesn't change that. As Devils fans I think that this offseason, the hiring of Ray Shero, the departure of Lou Lamoriello, and the influx of new faces has made us somewhat immune to change. That's why this season feels like the perfect time to raise Marty's jersey to the rafters of the Prudential Center. I think those contentious feelings are gone, and both parties realize how much they meant to each other. Basically we should all realize that the first 20 years he was here matter far more than the half of a year he wasn't. I, for one, can't wait to celebrate those two decades.
There is no player more deserving of a statue on the premises of The Rock than Marty Brodeur. His presence in the Devils locker room signifies the beginning and the end of an era. An era filled countless playoff appearances, multiple championships, and enough personal accomplishments to fill even the biggest trophy case. Scott Stevens may have been the best captain this team has ever had, but Marty Brodeur was the one navigating the boat. He was the key to everything the Devils franchise has accomplished thus far. He was the first generational superstar that New Jersey could call it's own.
There aren't many all-time great players that would take a pay cut to stay in the small market across the river from New York, but it's something that Brodeur did multiple times. Not only to make his team more competitive, but also because he loved it here, and we loved having him here. I can't wait until he comes back on February 9th just to show him exactly how much. Thanks Marty. You'll always be better in our eyes. See you soon...