By Sam Field
656. That is the number of wins that Martin Brodeur has amassed over his storied NHL career. Many people believe that Brodeur tarnished some of his legacy by moving on to another team, however that couldn’t be more false. Martin Brodeur will go down as one of the greatest goalies to ever strap on the pads. He has more wins, shutouts, and minutes played than anyone, and he has three Stanley Cup rings to show for it. This week Brodeur announced that he was hanging up the skates for retirement, and in effect signaled the end of an era. Brodeur spent the first 21 years of his storied career with the New Jersey Devils organization, but after the team made a deal at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft for Corey Schneider, it became apparent that the Devils had started looking towards the future. After one final year with the Devils, sharing the crease with Schneider, Brodeur announced that he would test free agency in the summer of 2014. After being unable to sign with a team prior to the season beginning, Brodeur continued to stay in shape hoping a team would come calling. Brodeur wanted to go to a team with a chance of having playoff success, chasing that ever elusive 4th Stanley Cup. When Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues went down with an injury, an opportunity opened for Brodeur and he signed a contract to play the season in St. Louis. However, after moderate success with the Blues, they continually elected to go with Jake Allen in between the pipes. Once Elliott returned earlier this month, the writing was on the wall for Brodeur. He was regularly slotted in the 3rd goalie position, and continually scratched until he announced his retirement this week. Although his drive for a 4th ring turned out to be a futile one, he has managed to maintain a lasting impact on hockey this season, and for years to come. He has even signed on to be a senior advisor to the general manager for the Blues. Many fans in New Jersey and the hockey community believe that a part of Brodeur’s legacy is now a bit tarnished because of his departure. True, many people wanted to see him retire as a Devil. However, Brodeur believed that he had more left in the tank and he wanted to empty it out. His stat line this season was a respectable, .899 SV% and a 2.87 GAA while posting 3 wins and 1 SO in 7 games played. Although those numbers are not on par with the gaudy numbers that he put up in his previous years, they are still respectable. Martin Brodeur’s inspired play night in and night out will forever be engrained in the minds of Devils’ fans, and in the nightmares of other teams’ fans who had trouble sleeping because of the hauntingly incredible saves Brodeur seemed to make every game. Martin Brodeur will go down as one of the legends, a surefire first ballot hall-of-famer, and a hero to so many young kids that grew up watching him play. Now, his legacy is greater than ever because Marty gave it all he could, and finally after parts of 22 seasons, the tank is empty.