This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
New Jersey Devils
1. Martin Brodeur (1864)
2. Scott Stevens (653)
3. Patrik Elias (347)
4. Scott Niedermayer (229)
5. Ken Daneyko (106)
Martin Brodeur’s days with the New Jersey Devils are done after two staggering decades of work, but it’s unlikely his name will be wiped away from franchise (or NHL) record books anytime soon. If ever.
Seriously, it’s difficult to imagine any active goalie coming within a breath of Brodeur’s astonishing numbers. Brodeur’s 688 wins tower over Patrick Roy’s 551 and Ed Belfour comes in third with 484 victories. Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist could make their way up historic rankings if health permits, but catching Brodeur seems unthinkable. With little surprise, Brodeur also holds the saves (28,776) and shutout (124) records by healthy margins.
Really, though, it’s not just about the records; it’s plausible that he represents the end of the true “workhorse” goalie in the NHL. Brodeur played 70+ games a ridiculous 12 times in his NHL career; no one managed that many reps since Pekka Rinne, Jonas Hiller and Miikka Kirpusoff crossed the 70-game barrier back in 2011-12. Considering the regular upheaval in the goaltending position, being relevant for two decades is quite remarkable.
(Naturally, he was more than “just there” with four Vezina nods, too.)
With all due respect to truly fantastic players like Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer along with shrewd, long-time GM Lou Lamoriello, Brodeur is the person most people think of when they hear “New Jersey Devils.”