Martin Brodeur is already the all-time wins leader despite suffering through the lost season of 2004-05. At a time in his career where Martin Brodeur was winning over 40 games a season with the New Jersey Devils, Brodeur missed out on extending his now gaudy records by a considerable amount. If Martin Brodeur, age 40, misses out on another season due an NHL lockout in 2012, what will its effect be on his legacy?
Will people remember Martin Brodeur as the Brett Favre of hockey? A goaltender that stuck around until he simply could not play the game anymore? Will Martin Brodeur’s success be attributed to the success of the system of the franchise he was a part of, or did Martin Brodeur build that franchise’s system? With or without a lockout, these questions will forever be a part of the legacy of Martin Brodeur.
A second NHL lockout, however, would mean that upwards of 80 wins and 10 shutouts could be lost. It’s possible that NHL lockouts and failed CBA negotiations could represent the career of the best goaltender of all time more than any other NHL player in history. As Martin Brodeur enters what is likely the last contract of his professional career, and his playing days are numbered, another lockout would be devastating.
Martin Brodeur is already the biggest victim of labor disputes in NHL history. The new NHL created rules specifically designed to limit Brodeur’s ability to handle the puck, quartering the best puckhandler in the NHL to enhance scoring. His wins records are now far more attainable for future goaltenders due to the introduction of the shootout, which results in extra wins, rather than the 100+ ties that Brodeur has. Considering Brodeur’s skill in shootouts, how many more wins would Brodeur have had if the new system were in place for his entire career? While Brodeur responded to rule changes that limited his puck-handling ability with some of the most successful seasons of his career, it’s hard to imagine another player more affected by the first NHL lockout.
A second lockout would cost Brodeur more than one of his final seasons. Martin Brodeur would lose most of the momentum collected from his Stanley Cup run last season. For years, Brodeur appeared to burn out by the season’s end and was heavily criticized for it. Martin Brodeur was one of the best players on the Devils for the entire 2012 playoffs for the first time since their Stanley Cup appearances of a decade ago.
Do you remember legends like Joe Dimaggio for his three lost seasons in the military, or are you surprised to find out the Yankee Clipper has only 2,214 hits despite a career batting average well over .300? If Martin Brodeur didn’t lose the 2004-05 season, he would likely have eclipsed 700 wins last year. Losing another season means removing upwards of 75 wins from his record-setting totals.
The idea of another NHL lockout is already shameful, but when you consider the impact it has on the legacies of legends like Martin Brodeur it becomes even more disgusting.