Devils Hockey: The End of an Era in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Devils season ended last Sunday when they beat the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center, but what happened after the game may haunt Devils fans more than finishing out of the playoffs.
When Sunday’s final whistle blew, it marked what could be the last time famed Devils goalie Martin Brodeur skated off the ice. If it was, he did it in style, accompanied by loud chants of “Mar-ty, Mar-ty.” As his name echoed throughout the Prudential Center, Brodeur was interviewed out loud on the big board at center ice by MSG network’s Deb Kaufman Placey. At the end of the interview, he skated off to a standing ovation and was named the number one star of the game.
On Tuesday, Brodeur spoke to Evan Roberts on WFAN radio. He described his feelings about the end of Sunday’s game, saying “It was a pretty special night. A lot was said about it being my last game but I didn’t make a decision on anything yet but just in case if it was they showed me a great appreciation, it was a fun game.”
It wasn’t Brodeur’s best season ever, but that was to be expected at an advanced age, with a not-so-great Devils team, while also sharing time with goalie Cory Schneider. Despite all the negatives, Brodeur started 39 games, winning 19 (3 of which were shutouts), losing 14 in regulation and losing six in overtime. Brodeur had a 2.51 goals against average and .901 save percentage and three assists — more assists than six other Devils, and the same as three other Devils (including Ryan Carter, who played 62 games this past season).
There’s no indication that it is Brodeur’s last-ever NHL game, though it appears to be his last in the only professional jersey he’s ever worn. WFAN’s Roberts asked Brodeur if it was his last game, and he replied that he wanted to come back next year. As for playing for another team, Brodeur said, “I tried to think about it, but it doesn’t really fit well, in my mind anyway, but we’ll see. If the right fit comes I might think about it, but right now I’m enjoying my early off season.”
If it was the last time Brodeur wears a Devils jersey, then skating off after a win was perfectly fitting for not only the best goalie in the history of the Devils but quite possibly the best in NHL history. The three-time Stanley Cup Winner has given everything to the organization he grew up with; his tutelage of Schneider would leave the Devils in a good goaltending situation, as the team’s new full-time goalie would have learned from the best.