New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur suffered one of the hardest occurrences in anyone’s life — the loss of a parent. Denis Brodeur, Martin’s father and Anthony’s grandfather, passed away on Thursday at the age of 82. Denis was a professional sports photographer and was well respected, especially in the NHL.
Obviously, Martin flew straight to Montreal to be with family and missed his start against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Situations like this really puts the world into perspective to some people. It makes people think of the future and wonder about the what-ifs in the past. For athletes, sometimes it makes them wonder about their own kids. It is no secret that professional athletes can’t be home for most of the year. With his son starting his professional career, maybe this is when Martin Brodeur reflects and sees that he wants more out of life than what he has accomplished in hockey.
Martin Brodeur is something that may never be seen again. He is the greatest goalie of all time. Of course, there will be arguments, but it is hard to argue with 669 wins against 423 losses. 121 of those wins came in the form of a shutout, an NHL record which doesn’t even include his 24 postseason shutouts. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a Gold Medal winner, a four-time Vezina winner and the owner of the record of most goals by a goaltender. He has literally done it all in the sport of hockey.
This incident is no doubt sad for not only Brodeur, but for all sports fans who followed this team. It seems fitting on the day that Mariano Rivera played his last game at Yankee Stadium, the incident that may push the greatest of all time towards retirement happened. Obviously, this is foreshadowing. Nobody but Brodeur knows how he is feeling right now. He may want to play until his legs fall off, and someone will sign him up until that day.
The 41-year-old may miss the Devils’ opener on Thursday, but that is the least of anyone’s worries. They have Cory Schneider, who has been quite possibly the best goalie when it doesn’t matter this season. Only time will tell how Brodeur comes out of this, and nobody knows what the future holds for him. One thing we all know is that the Devils fans will welcome their hero back when he eventually returns. Nothing can pick a person’s spirits up quite like 17,000 people letting them know they were thinking about them.