Martin Brodeur named Blues' Senior Advisor to GM, retires with 'big smile'

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Martin Brodeur named Blues' Senior Advisor to GM, retires with 'big smile'
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Martin Brodeur stood in front of a St. Louis Blues backdrop and announced his retirement on Thursday. It wasn’t the scene we had pictured it would be while watching his 22-year NHL career; but after splitting with the New Jersey Devils last season, he didn’t want to say goodbye just yet. 

Brodeur felt he could still play, and after a long wait spent the final seven games of his career with the Blues. When Brian Elliott got healthy, the 42-year old netminder was relegated to third on the depth chart. That’s when the thought of the end began to creep into his mind.

“I know I can play,” Brodeur said. “I know I still can have fun with this game. For me, just the fact that they got healthy was harder for me to stay around. I’m a competitive guy. It was hard to stay on the sideline. That’s why I decided to take my retirement.”

The Blues had hoped that Brodeur would stick around and lend his veteran expertise, but it didn’t feel right. “I felt in a way a little bit,” he said.

Brodeur will join Al MacInnis as a Senior Advisor to Blues GM Doug Armstrong. He’ll travel with the team and get his feet wet working in a management capacity. He’s committed to the gig through the end of this season, but as far a return to New Jersey, that will be examined down the line.

While starting his post-NHL career in a suit with the Blues might raise a few eyebrows and lead to speculation about his relationship with Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, there's nothing to that. Brodeur said they spoke constantly during his time in St. Louis and was supportive in his decision to work for them. 

“For anybody that thinks that me and Lou are not on the same page,” Brodeur said, “everybody’s wrong.”

In three years the Hockey Hall of Fame will come calling for Brodeur. One Calder Trophy. Two Olympic gold medals. Three Stanley Cups. Four Vezina Trophies. Nearly 20 NHL records. It was a decorated career. One number he would have loved to have reached was 700 wins, but ultimately fell nine short.

“Yeah, 691. It’s not too bad,” Brodeur said with a laugh. “It would have been nice to be at 700, but it is what it is. I wish I could have played more games. It’s all these lockouts. I got killed on it.” 

Every athlete wants to go out on their terms. They want to control their goodbye to the sport. Brodeur’s ending may not have been how we wanted to see it, but it was good enough for him. 

“I’m leaving the game with a big smile on my face,” he said. “I don’t think if I would have done that last year it would have been the case.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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