When a hockey fan mentions the name Martin Brodeur, which NHL franchise instantly comes to mind?
No, it’s not the St. Louis Blues.
The greatness of Martin Brodeur’s career will forever be intertwined with the glory years of the New Jersey Devils and rightly so with Brodeur earning four Vezina Trophies, membership in the NHL Hall of Fame and three Stanley Cups as the greatest goalie in Devils franchise history.
Fast forward a number of years and Martin Brodeur is now back with the Devils after working the past few seasons as a special assistant and assistant GM in the Blues organization. Shouldn’t Devils fans be excited about the prospect of Brodeur bringing his hockey mind back to Newark?
When Brodeur did come back to the Devils in the 2018-19 season, he worked primarily on the business side of operations, an area that was seemingly foreign to one of the all-time great NHL netminders:
“I wasn’t really doing much with hockey – I wasn’t doing anything with hockey,” Brodeur said. “I would talk to (goaltending coach) Rollie Melanson once in a while for the goalies, stuff like that. I would come across the GM Ray Shero and say hi. I was doing something completely different. I was more in the fan interaction, and sponsorships, and community outreach and all stuff like that.” Martin Brodeur, The Hockey News, June 18, 2020.
Now that Brodeur is back on the hockey operations side of the Devils organization as the “Executive Vice President for Hockey Operations” and senior advisor, he now has the ability to bring out his hockey mind and help guide interim GM Tom Fitzgerald through a myriad of operational tasks from planning out the upcoming NHL Draft this week to monitoring the development of goalies such as Mackenzie Blackwood. However, before fans think that Martin Brodeur is simply the next GM waiting in the wings, understand that Tom Fitzgerald is still the general manager of the Devils organization-interim or not.
In my previous article, I discussed the ongoing head coaching search currently being conducted by the Devils. This process is being led by Tom Fitzgerald and there has been no indication from the Devils ownership that Fitzgerald is on his way out of the organization at this time.
For now, Martin Brodeur is learning the roles of hockey operations and developing as a future general manager. With Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman serving in GM roles in their familiar confines of Colorado and Detroit, respectively, Martin Brodeur should feel right at home in Newark working with the Devils organization.
Great players know how to develop other great players and turn teams into winning franchises.
Hopefully, Martin Brodeur can help extend some of his playing greatness into developing a winning organization this coming NHL season.
Featured Image: NHL.com