Let’s face facts. It looked weird.
There stood Martin Brodeur, the legendary goalie who won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils, in front of a backdrop featuring the logo of the St. Louis Blues, announcing his retirement from a Hall of Fame career.
Brodeur ended up playing just seven games for the Blues, with whom he’ll remain for at least the rest of the season as a senior advisor to general manager Doug Armstrong.
He played almost 1,500 games, including the playoffs, for the Devils.
Given the optics, it was no surprise Brodeur took the opportunity to insist his relationship with New Jersey president/GM Lou Lamoriello remains strong as ever.
“For anybody that thinks that me and Lou are not on the same page, everybody’s wrong,” said Brodeur.
“We’ve stayed in contact before I signed in St. Louis, during when I was playing, and while I was hanging out in Florida.
“He agreed with me that this was probably the best opportunity. It’s something that he was not able to give me at this time. I’m really excited to be here (in St. Louis).”
Brodeur has made no commitment either way, to St. Louis or New Jersey, for next season.
As for the decision to retire, he said he saw the writing on the wall when Blues starter Brian Elliott returned from injury. With backup Jake Allen also on the roster, it left three goalies, and no real opportunity for Brodeur.
“Just the fact they got healthy, it was harder for me to stay around,” said Brodeur. “I’m a competitive guy. It was hard to stay on the sideline.”
Brodeur joked that it got to the point where he started to feel “in the way” as the third goalie at practice, and that eventually he was just trying to not get “run over by the line rushes.”
At the same time, the 42-year-old has no regrets about going out the way he did.
“The thing about hockey for me,” Brodeur said. “I’m really competitive, but I love to have fun. And I’m leaving the game with a big smile on my face.
“I don’t think if I would’ve [retired] last year it would have been the case.”