*Disclaimer: None of this should be taken too seriously.
|Martin Brodeur, pictured above, holds several New Jersey Devils franchise records, |
including most wins by a goaltender to leave the team via free agency.
Photo credit: MoreThanAFan.net
NEW JERSEY DEVILS vs. EDMONTON OILERS -- February 9th, 2016
My Jersey Retirement Speech - Final Draft
First of all, thank you fans and to the New Jersey Devils organization for honoring me on this monumental night, even though I didn’t recognize anyone in the front office when I walked in here this morning. I also want to thank the St. Louis Blues for letting me take the night off. There comes a point in every player’s career where he realizes it’s time to retire; luckily for me, I only realized it two years late. There have been times when I regret retiring, including last weekend, when I realized that I had more points than some of this year’s All-Stars, but for the most part, I am enjoying my new life. It took some time adjusting to my new role, especially every time we get a new delivery of pucks to the arena, I have to remind myself not to stop them, and also not having 17,000 people shouting your name every night, but hey, sometimes Doug Armstrong shouting at me can be louder than 17,000 people!
I have a lot of people to thank tonight, because without them, I would not be standing here right now. I first want to thank Trevor Kidd. Thanks to you, I didn’t have to go spend my career in that middle-of-nowhere known as Calgary! You really took one for the team there, buddy. I also want to thank Lou Lamoriello, because if it weren’t for you, I might have been drafted by Boston, and I would have had to put up with thousands of New England accents instead of just yours. I want to thank my teammates over the years, particularly my defensemen. Thank you Colin White, Mike Mottau, Marek Zidlicky and all of you who turned the puck over so much that I got to make SportsCentre and Hockey Night in Canada highlight reels every week. You guys truly helped shape my career. Most of all, thank you fans for your support every night. You guys, along with Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Habs fans, filled this arena… well, this and the one in the Meadowlands, and were always shouting things I definitely don’t want my kids to hear… even today!
|Perhaps Brodeur's final significant triumph: |
winning the Eastern Conference over the NY Rangers in 2012.
Photo credit: NY Daily News
There are other parts of the game I miss and will always miss. I miss watching opposing players weep after being leveled by Scotty. I miss watching Brian Rolston wind up his slapshot, only to have it sail five feet wide. I miss Devils fans booing Scott Gomez when he came back as a Ranger. I miss playing Vancouver and watching three gingers on their bench, yet you could only recognize Schneider. I miss going to MSG and being taunted days before Adam Henrique took matters into his own hands. But I won’t miss everything. I especially won’t miss coaches asking me to go easy on the guys in practice so they would feel good about themselves. And I won't miss having a new coach every other month.
There have been many moments that come to mind when I look back on my career. Even though I still flinch when I hear the name “Matteau,” there are more positives memories than negative. When we swept Detroit in ’95, I felt like I made it in the NHL. It was then that I finally understood why Jacques Lemaire kept muttering “It’s a trap!” every day after practice. Then in ’97, I scored my first NHL goal. Not many players get to say that they’ve won the Calder and a Stanley Cup before their first goal, so I had that going for me. Obviously winning the next two Cups was pretty special, and it was so special that I graciously allowed my goaltending nemesis to win one against me in between.
|Before making his 'Dancing With the Stars' debut,|
Avery learned to dance with Brodeur.
Photo credit: NorthJersey.com
Even though we didn’t win any more Cups after 2003, I still had a lot of fun. Tying Patrick Roy’s win record up at Montreal was incredible and was probably the biggest ovation I’ve ever gotten in my career. I ended up breaking a lot of records in New Jersey and in league history, including wins, shutouts, most games played, most minutes and most takedowns of Sean Avery. I guess you know you’re good when the league has to cancel an entire season just to come up with the trapezoid rule to slow you down. I was truly blessed throughout my 21 years in New Jersey and seven games in St. Louis. Oh, and for the record, Sean Avery is still an asshole!
A lot of people ask me if there’s anything I regret in my career, especially not finishing in the same place that it started. To be honest, I thought I was just continuing the tradition of great Devils players leaving in free agency and signing elsewhere. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the “going home” excuse, because Montreal didn’t need me, so St. Louis seemed like a random enough place to go. I don’t regret it at all because they liked me so much in St. Louis that I went from being the backup backup goalie to assistant General Manager in two weeks. Lou wouldn’t even let me have a Twitter account after 21 years! In all seriousness, Lou is a first class guy and by the way Lou, the jelly that you had N.J. Devil drop off at my place this morning was delicious! I’m still not coming to work for you in Toronto, though; there’s a team with goaltending issues even I can’t fix, except for maybe this year.
I should probably wrap this whole speech thing up now. I heard the chef has a big surprise for me up at my suite tonight, so I need to get going! I had a lot of fun playing here. I guess you won’t hear many forwards say that, but I loved the way we used to play, and I’m honored to join Stevens, Daneyko and Niedermayer up in the rafters here. Considering I only played seven games for the Blues, this is probably the last time I’ll have my number retired by an NHL team. It’s a great honor and I thank the Devils and Blues organizations for making this night possible. Good luck to the Oilers and Devils tonight, and remember Oilers players, the drinking age in New Jersey and all of the U.S. is 21, so most of you guys won’t have anything to do after this game. Anyway, I’m going to try to not get emotional now. Thank you guys for everything and be sure to check out martinbrodeur30.com to buy my gear! See you guys on Patrik Elias Night next year.
Let’s Go Blues! Let’s Go Devils!