"In the last game against Detroit (in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals), the time from ten minutes left to one minute left was probably the longest nine minutes of my life. But from one to zero was probably the greatest time I've ever had. I didn't want the clock to run out. It was such a great feeling: people crying in the stands, people jumping up and down, people cheering. Guys couldn't even sit up on the bench. It was probably the best minute of my life." (Sports Illustrated, May 26, 1997)
Martin Brodeur is one of hockey's greatest all-time goalies and after making a deal with the Devils, so to speak, has played with New Jersey all of his NHL career. Although he hails from the same area many other butterfly style goaltenders have come from, he is not a strict butterfly goalie. His style is more of a hybrid; he's made from a mold all his own. His ability to adapt and change depending on the situation is one of the reasons Brodeur is so hard to beat. He's rarely caught out of position and posesses a quick glove hand. Testament to these is his career 2.20 GAA (through the 2006-2007 season), which is the lowest in the modern era. Another strength is he's known to be a great puck handler, which might explain why he's one of those rare goalies with goals (see more info on that below). As far as weaknesses go, he doesn't have many; probably his worst one is giving up juicy rebounds that bounce right up the middle.
Martin Brodeur (pronounced MAHR-tan broh-DOOR) was born in Montreal, Quebec on May 6, 1972. He is the son of Denis Brodeur, goaltender with bronze medal-winning 1956 Canadian Olympic Team. Currently, while playing for the Devils, he lives in Hackensack, New Jersey. He stands at a formidable 6'2" and weighs 210lbs. He wears #30 for the Devils and Canada and catches left. Through the 2006-2007 season Martin has played 891 games (all Devils) and has 494 wins, 263 losses, 105 ties, 14 OT losses, 52,573 minutes played, and 1,931 goals against. As far as the playoffs are concerned, he's racked up 152 games (again, all Devils - in fact he has a record, those are consecutive games) with 89 wins, 63 losses, 9,472 minutes, 297 goals against and a stellar 1.88 GAA. And that includes 3 Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003), the only three that the Devils have ever won (that includes the now-defunct Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies). He was selected by New Jersey in first round (first Devils pick, 20th overall) of the National Hockey League entry draft on June 16, 1990.
It would be 1992 before Martin would see his first NHL action, though. On March 26, 1992, with both Terreri and Craig Billington down with injuries, NJ plucked him up after a double-emergency recall from St. Hyacinthe (QMJHL). Brodeur played 142 games in that league and posted a 72-53-10 record there and a pedestrian 3.39 GAA. Before that he only played 27 games with Mtl. Bourassa of the QAAA. Before he was permanently up in the NHL he saw a little AHL action with the Utica Devils to the tune of a 14-13-5 record and a blah 4.03 GAA. Destined for greatness, for some reason, even with those so-so numbers, the Devils saw fit to bring him up for good in the 93-94 season and he hasn't looked back since.
He played 47 games that year and went 27-11-8 with a sparkling 2.40 GAA. At the end of that season he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, but that would be the first of the many accolades that were to come for this rising NHL star.
- Named to National Hockey League All-Rookie Team, 1993-94.
- Named #1 future top-ten player, The Sporting News 1994-95 Hockey Yearbook.
- Named fourth-best reflexes among goaltenders, The Sporting News 1994-95 Hockey Yearbook.
- Rated #9 in Hockey Stars Presents "The Top 50 Netminders in Pro Hockey", November 1994.
- First goaltender in Devils' history to record back-to-back shutouts, stopping 53 shots on goal in victories over Ottawa and the Rangers, on April 5 and April 9, 1995.
- Shared National Hockey League single-season playoff record for most wins by a goaltender (16), 1995.
- 1994-95 Goaltender of the Year, Hockey Stars Presents, Summer 1995.
- Rated #1 in Hockey Stars Presents "The Top 50 Netminders in Pro Hockey", November 1995.
- Played in National Hockey League All-Star Game, 1996.
- Played in National Hockey League All-Star Game, 1997.
- Shared (with Mike Dunham) William M. Jennings Trophy, 1996-97.
- Named to National Hockey League All-Star second team, 1996-97.
- Named to The Hockey News National Hockey League All-Star second team, 1996-97.
- Named National Hockey League Player of the Month, November 1997.
- Named to The Hockey News' midseason First All-Star Team, January 1998.
- Played in National Hockey League All-Star Game, January 18, 1998.
- Goaltender for Canadian Olympic Team, February 1998.
- Winner, William M. Jennings Trophy, 1997-98.
- Named National Hockey League Player of the Week, January 10, 2000.
- Named to The Sporting News All-Star First Team, 2000-01.
- Member of gold medal-winning Canadian Olympic Team, 2002.
- Named National Hockey League Player of the Week, April 1, 2002.
- Named National Hockey League Player of the Week, January 20, 2003.
- Shared (with Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche) William M. Jennings Trophy, 2002-03.
- Winner, Vezina Trophy, 2002-03.
- Finalist, Hart Memorial Trophy, 2002-03.
- Voted as Eastern Conference starter, National Hockey League All-Star Game, February 8, 2004.
- Winner, Vezina Trophy, 2003-04.
- Winner, William M. Jennings Trophy, 2003-04.
- Named to National Hockey League All-Star First Team, 2003-04.
- Finalist, Hart Memorial Trophy, 2003-04.
As far as milestones go...
- Recorded 200th National Hockey League victory, vs. Buffalo, April 14, 1999.
- Became the youngest National Hockey League goaltender to record his 300th regular-season victory on December 15, 2001.
- Became the youngest goaltender to win 400 regular-season National Hockey League games on March 23, 2004, at the Office Depot Center in Miami, Florida, as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Florida Panthers on their home ice. Brodeur stopped twenty-one shots and the game wasn't decided until overtime.
- On October 12, 2006, Martin moved past Terry Sawchuk into third place on the all-time wins list with his 448th career victory. It was a very unusual game for Brodeur and not the best road to earning a victory. The 7-6 victory saw him have his worst home period ever, allowing five goals on 11 Maple Leafs shots in the second period, allowing three goals on five shots during a 3:25 span. The home fans mock-cheered him every time he made a save after that. Devils' offense were responsible for getting him that victory, scoring four times in the third.
Par for the course with great hockey goalies such as Brodeur, he has set and broken many records:
- Shares National Hockey League single-season record for most wins by a goaltender (61), 1995.
- Holds National Hockey League single-season record for most minutes played by a goalteneder (4434), 1995-96.
- On May 19, 2001, Martin became the twelfth goaltender in National Hockey
League history to record four shutouts
in one postseason, in a 5-0 blanking (21 saves) at Pittsburgh. It was also his second consecutive
shutout, the second time in the 2001 postseason that Brodeur had back-to-back
- Holds New Jersey franchise record for most games played by a goalie (519).
- Holds New Jersey franchise record for most wins (286).
- Holds New Jersey franchise record for lowest goals-against average (2.21).
- Holds New Jersey franchise record for most shutouts (51).
- On March 30, 2003, Martin became the first National Hockey League
goaltender to record four seasons with 40 (or more) victories, as the devils shutout the New York Islanders by a 6-0 count. It was
his 9th of the season.
As if this all wasn't enough, Brodeur is also one of those rare goalies to have a goal. Actually two (the only goaltender in history so far to have more than one)!
Martin joined the ranks of Billy Smith, Ron Hextall, and Chris Osgood with scoring a goal during a first round playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens on April 17th, 1997 on a 200-foot shot I believe this is a picture of his post-goal celebration. He repeated this feat on February 15, 2000 against Philly. Actually he didn't shoot and score it this time; the Flyers knocked it into their own net after their goaltender vacated the crease to give the Flyers and extra skater during a delayed penalty. But Brodeur was the last Devil to touch the puck. It actually ended up being the game-winning goal, putting New Jersey up 3-1 and they held on for a 4-2 victory.
Martin Brodeur's wife is named Melanie and he has had three sons and a daughter with her: Anthony, twins William and Jeremy, and Anabelle Antoinette. He wears his sons' initials on the back of his mask (aww!). Martin's older brother, Claude Brodeur, was a pitcher in the now-defunct Montreal Expos farm system.