The quasi-fanfare about Martin Brodeur’s retirement seems, well, odd. It’s at once anti-climactic and for some reason, artificial. Disgruntled Devils fans know deep down his No. 30 will hang in New Jersey, with his time getting his feet wet in a Dwight Schrutian “Assistant to the GM” role to Doug Armstrong practice for more permanent duties under Lou Lamoriello.
Elliott and Allen Should Feel Secure
Conspiracy theories aside, this is good for the Blues’ tandem of Brian Elliott — someone who’s never truly been given the reigns until this season — and Jake Allen. Surely both guys got along with Brodeur, but that’s not the point. By not having that superstar’s presence threatening ice time, but still being able to pick his brain when needed, the team gets all the current good of Marty and none of the bad. Elliott is virtually untouchable, in the sense that it would be extremely expensive for what would prove a mild upgrade or, more likely, a lateral move. Allen is a proven AHL goaltender and has graduated; he’s also a blue-chip NHL prospect which, for goaltenders, is relatively rare. Elliott and Allen can now focus on the business at hand without excess drama and, with youngster Jordan Binnington’s lack of NHL experience, increased job security. By eliminating Brodeur from the ice, the Blues duo is effectively insulated by a lack of pressure from above or below. It’s truly their net now, and they should embrace that.
The Players Care About Marty
Although it was clear Brodeur’s absence wasn’t a distraction, that doesn’t mean they didn’t care about his future. Although an unusual situation, its resolution is one less thing the team needs to concern itself with. Also, there’s this: the team wants to win for Marty. It’s evident that there’s a special motivation by the entire team to prove itself worthy of having a proven and storied winner in the organization. His ability to put big games in perspective and the fact that he’s “been there and done that” at all levels — successfully — should be an enormous aid in the locker room during the postseason grind.
Brodeur Could Take the Ice Once More
One fun yet unlikely theory being bandied about in some circles revolves around the idea of Brodeur being able to suit up in case of another long-term injury to Elliott or Allen. However, Brodeur is not on an active roster and, although his retirement papers aren’t signed, would have to clear entry waivers for him to suit up with the Blues once more. However, at this point, that all seems a little unseemly and would only be done most likely in case of true emergency. Die-hard fans can hold out hope that he’ll become hockey’s Brett Favre, but Brodeur seems excited about his new role as the liaison between players and management. At this point, Blues players and fans can enjoy watching what three decades’ experience and winning tradition can bring to a city so overdue for a Stanley Cup parade.