Martin Brodeur, one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, is retiring.
The 10-time all-star and four-time Vezina Cup Trophy winner finished his career with St. Louis after a standout career with New Jersey, and will join the Blues in a management role in hockey operations. A news conference was set for Thursday morning before the Blues return from the all-star break to play Nashville.
"It's kind of sad to see a guy like him hang 'em up," said Brian Elliott, the Blues' all-star goalie. "I'm sure it's a tough decision, but I was grateful to be on the same team with him if only for a little bit."
The 42-year-old Brodeur wrapped up his 22-year career with St. Louis after signing as a free agent on Dec. 2. He was 3-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average and in his final victory became the fifth-oldest goalie to post a shutout in a 3-0 win over Colorado on Dec. 29.
He last played on Jan. 2 in a loss at Anaheim and he hadn't returned to the team since being granted a one-week leave of absence on Jan. 14. Brodeur had dropped to third on the depth chart after Elliott returned from a knee injury, with 24-year-old Jake Allen sharing the position.
"It's an extremely smart move," forward Alexander Steen said. "All the experience and all that stuff is so valuable to have in an organization. That stuff spreads."
On the Devils' website, general manager Lou Lamoriello said he anticipated Brodeur's job to be for the rest of the season and that the goalie would be welcome to rejoin New Jersey in a front office role after that.
"Marty is a very loyal guy in both ways," Lamoriello said to NJ Advance Media. "They gave him an opportunity (to play). There are a lot of things going through his mind right now. He'll be back with the Devils."
Brodeur played his first 21 seasons with the Devils, who did not re-sign him after committing to Cory Schneider as the No. 1 goalie.
The Montreal native was 691-397-176 with a 2.24 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts in 1,266 career appearances. He holds regular-season NHL records for wins, games and minutes.
"I don't think he has to worry about losing those anytime soon," Elliott said. "It's just awesome to be able to stand on the same ice as a guy like that, especially when you look at the record books probably 50 years from now and you can be like, 'I played with that guy,' so it's cool."
Brodeur also holds post-season records for starts (204) and shutouts (24), and is second in wins (113). He appeared in 70 or more games in 10 consecutive seasons from 1997-98 to 2007-08.
He won three Stanley Cups with the Devils and was a two-time Olympic gold medallist with Team Canada in 2002 and 2010.
Among those expected to attend the news conference are general manager Doug Armstrong and Blues Hall of Famers Bernie Federko, Brett Hull and Al MacInnis. Federko is a team broadcaster and Hull and MacInnis are in the front office.