NASHVILLE – There has always been symmetry between Colorado coach/HOF goaltender Patrick Roy and former New Jersey/St. Louis goaltender Martin Brodeur. The records, the style of play, the French Canadian bravado all come into mind.
But when Roy retired after the 2002-03 season at the age of 37 it was a shock. He had a 2.18 goals against average and .920 save percentage. Sure, his body was breaking down, but he was still effective.
With Brodeur, at the age of 42 and failing stats – it wasn’t a surprise at all. What is odd is that Brodeur has taken a job with the St. Louis Blues front office and not with his long-time team, the Devils (we'll get to that in a second).
Roy had a messy split with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995-96 season and was traded to Colorado but eventually had his jersey retired by Montreal. Brodeur has taken subtle digs at the Devils since he signed with St. Louis. Are there any parallels?
“(New Jersey general manager) Lou Lamoriello is a super man. I mean … I’m sure the relation is very good with Marty. On my side it went really well as well,” Roy said. “They retired my jersey and met Bob Gainey and Pierre Boivin It was fun for me to be back in the family. It’s hard for me to answer that question because I’m not aware of anything else. I’m sure there’s a lot of respect between the two men.”
It seems like a confusing situation for Lamoriello and Brodeur, but it sounds like he will return to the Devils eventually per the Bergen Record:
The position will last through the remainder of the season. After that, Brodeur is expected to return to the Devils and become part of their front office.
In fact, Brodeur and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong both discussed this position with Lamoriello before Brodeur made his decision.
Also, Patrick … if you thought Lamoriello was a ‘super man’ you didn’t read this blog about him laughing at fired employees.
Anyway, does this make Brodeur a Devils spy in St. Louis? Is this a ceremonial position? In all honesty it's probably the NHL old boys network thing, which makes it unexplainable.
After his first game with the Blues in Nashville, Brodeur said, “We have skilled players and they make plays. It’s so different … I played in an organization that we were pretty limited in skill so we got the puck moving north all the time and didn’t really make plays. These guys, they’re talented, they’re making plays. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes we make mistakes. But I’m really happy with the way the boys played in front of me.”
As for Roy’s own personal decision, he wasn’t one of those ‘hanger on’ type guys. When he was done, he knew it was over.
“When I made my decision it was clear in my head,” Roy said. “It seems like Marty wanted to play more and he played I don’t know how many games with the Blues and he played well. He had a shutout against us and I think he wanted to give it another shot and I respect that as well. When you’re not ready I’m sure it’s a tough decision. But when you’re ready when I was, it was a lot easier. The tough part is you always need a ‘B’ plan – something to do after hockey and I was fortunate enough to remain in the game of hockey at the junior level and certainly helped take the transition a lot easier.”
And as for Brodeur’s ‘Plan B’ for himself? It just adds to Marty’s strange and wild ride this year. But he officially enters the pantheon of players who looked extremely weird in different uniforms during unforgettable tenures.
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