The New Jersey Devils honored one of the greatest players to ever play the game on Tuesday, Martin Brodeur.
Past and present New Jersey Devils stars took part in the ceremony as Martin Brodeur’s iconic No. 30 jersey was raised to the rafters during a pregame ceremony. Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, and Ken Daneyko, the only other players to have their numbers retired by the Devils, took part in the ceremony as did former general manager Lou Lamoriello.
“Probably the first time I’m nervous on that ice. It was fun. It was well done, but I’m glad it’s over,” Brodeur said. “The response from the fans was something special for me. I got to know these fans a lot throughout my career. I expected that, but it was really overwhelming.”
In addition to his jersey retirement – alongside Devils teammates Ken Daneyko (3), Scott Stevens (4) and Scott Niedermayer (27), who were all in attendance – the team also commissioned an 11-foot statue of Brodeur, which was unveiled at a separate ceremony on Monday night.
Brodeur’s wife, four sons, including 2013 Devils draft pick and goalie Anthon, and daughter were with him on the ice.
He “got choked up” speaking in French about his parents, especially his father, longtime Montreal Canadiens photographer Denis Brodeur who died in 2013.
“I think he’d be so excited to be here, taking pictures,” Brodeur said. “But I’m sure he’s at a place right now that he’s enjoying this and he’s really proud of everything I accomplished with a smile on his face.”
Brodeur played 21 seasons for the Devils. He led them to three Stanley Cup titles and won the Vezina Trophy four times as the NHL’s top goalie.
He retired last season after playing seven games with the St. Louis Blues, where he now serves as an assistant general manager. He left the game with NHL records for games played (1,266), wins (691) and shutouts (125).