One of the greatest players in Devils history will soon have his name — and number — in the Prudential Center rafters.
On Tuesday, New Jersey announced that it would retire Martin Brodeur’s No. 30 on Feb. 9 in a ceremony prior to that evening’s tilt against Edmonton.
The decision comes as no surprise.
Brodeur, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history and holder of numerous statistical benchmarks, backstopped the Devils to all three of their Stanley Cup championships, and a surprise Cup Final appearance in 2012.
Widely regarded as the face of the franchise, Brodeur sits second all-time in games played for the Devils and, unsurprisingly, holds every significant goaltending record.
His 688 wins in a New Jersey uniform is a staggering mark, one that may never be broken.
When his No. 30 is raised, Brodeur will join some select company. Only three Devils have ever had their numbers retired: Ken Daneyko’s No. 3, Scott Stevens’ No. 4 and Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27.
Some fairly noteworthy developments out of Denver on Tuesday, the biggest being that Mikko Rantanen — the 10th overall pick at this year’s draft — has made the Avs’ opening-night roster.
Rantanen, 18, was considered one of the more NHL-ready prospects at the draft but “fell” to the Avs, which proved a good thing — Colorado has a long history of fast-tracking high picks to the NHL, as Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon all made the leap in their draft years.
At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Rantanen already has big league size. It’s possible he opens the season on a line with center Carl Soderberg, one of the club’s big summer acquisitions.
Elsewhere in Colorado…
For the second straight day, a veteran forward has successfully converted his training camp tryout into an NHL contract.
On Tuesday, the Avs announced that Jack Skille had signed a one-year pact with the club. Skille, 28, is a former first-round pick (seventh overall in ’05) that’s appeared in nearly 250 career NHL contests with Chicago, Florida and, most recently, Columbus.
With Colorado, Skille is expected to fill a bottom-six checking role. As mentioned above, he joins Scottie Upshall as the other forward to successfully turn his PTO into a new deal — yesterday, Upshall signed a one-year, two-way pact with the Blues.
Devin Setoguchi, most recently in Leafs camp on a PTO, has signed with HC Davos of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Tuesday.
Setoguchi, 28, was with Toronto following a summer in which he attended rehab in an effort to get sober and start repairing his reputation which, he admitted in August, had been tarnished.
“The amount of times I’ve let people down, there weren’t a lot of takers on me,” he said, per Sportsnet. “Around the league my word has not really meant much.
“I had gotten to the point where I had diminished any merit I had in the league.”
The decision to go to rehab came after a disappointing ’14-15 campaign in Calgary. Setoguchi appeared went pointless in 12 games, but did reasonably well with the club’s AHL affiliate, scoring 10 points in 19 games.
A former 30-goal scorer, Setoguchi now joins one of Switzerland’s biggest and most prolific clubs. Davos has won 31 NLA titles, and is the league’s reigning champion.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.