by BRIANNA DELUCA Staff Writer
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur broke the record for most wins of all time on March 17, 2009 during an exciting game that hockey fans will never forget. Since then, the winningest goalie has picked up 134 more wins and is still going strong.
Born on May 6, 1972 in Montreal, Brodeur grew up around hockey. His father was also a goaltender and was famous for helping team Canada win the bronze medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Italy. After his hockey career, Brodeur’s father became the official photographer for the Montreal Canadiens.
As a child, Brodeur enjoyed playing the sport, especially street hockey, with his friends. However, he did not start as a goalie. Instead, he played forward for the first few years.
His goalie career officially began at the age of seven when he was offered to play forward or goaltending by his coach.
“It was the biggest decision of my life. I don’t know why I decided, but I thought it would be fun to play goal,” said Brodeur.
Over the years, Brodeur practiced and improved in net. He played his entire minor hockey career with the Montreal-Bourassa Midget AAA team. As early as 16, Brodeur began to draw attention from scouts.
In 1989, he joined the Quebec Major League where his talent and character once again made him stand out. It was his dream to make it to the National Hockey League (NHL), and every day he strived toward achieving his goal.
His hard work and dedication soon paid off, as he was drafted into the NHL a short year later. The New Jersey Devils chose him as their 20th overall pick in the 1990 entry draft.
At 19 years old, Brodeur proved himself the first opportunity he got. On March 26, 1992, he played his first NHL game and led his team to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.
As it was over two decades ago, Brodeur vaguely remembers the game.
“It was kind of surreal. Winning that game and just being a part of it. It was impressive for me to be in the show,” Brodeur said.
In the 1993-1994 season, Brodeur played as starting goalie for the Devils. He won 27 out of 47 games and recorded 2.40 goals against average. With an impressive first season, Brodeur was named Rookie of the Year and received the Calder Trophy.
Brodeur’s success as goalie helped the Devils win their first Stanley Cup the very next year. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games during the 1995 playoffs. It was the first time that Brodeur got to raise the Stanley Cup, and certainly not the last. The Devils went on to win the cup again in 2000.
In 2003, Brodeur and his team won their third Stanley Cup in eight years. He also earned his first Vézina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL. His impressive goaltending eventually earned him three more.
During 21 seasons with the Devils, Brodeur has broken many records, including most games played by a goaltender, most overtime wins, and most wins in a single season. In addition, Brodeur is the only goalie to ever score a game-winning goal.
Sophomore Ryan Craver said, “I went crazy when Brodeur scored. The other team pulled their goalie, and he banked the puck off the boards and into the empty net. It was amazing.”
The most impressive record Brodeur holds is most wins of all time. Brodeur broke Patrick Roy’s 551 wins in 2009 when he led the Devils to a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. He currently has 686 wins and is adding more to the total.
Sophomore Brandon Hommer said, “It feels like it was only yesterday that Marty broke the wins record. The game was really exciting to watch and it couldn’t have ended more perfectly.”
Recently, Brodeur broke the record for most goals ever given up. This makes sense because the 41-year-old has played in over 1,100 games in his career.
Fans constantly speculate his retirement. Despite his age, Brodeur’s consistent performances have made it apparent that he still has a few more seasons left in him. How many more Stanley Cups do you think Brodeur will win before his retirement?