Martin Brodeur was born May 6th, 1972. He's no different than other children, he loves to play, especially play street hockey. He played his entire minor hockey within the Saint- Leonard Minor Hockey Association and at 16 years old, he joins the Montreal-Bourassa Midget AAA Team. That is where he begins to draw attention from the scouts. He is considered the best prospect amongst goalkeepers.
During the summer of 1988, he is invited to Calgary for the National U17 Hockey Festival. He faces some 100 top prospects in the country and performs well. It is at that moment that he realizes his full potential. From that day on, hockey is the centre of his life and the National Hockey League becomes his ultimate goal.
As soon as 1989, he joins the Saint-Hyacinthe Laser in the Quebec Major League. His progression is constant. He rises above others through his talent, his strength of character and his calm. During the NHL's 1990 draft, the New Jersey Devils choose him at the 20th rank of the first round. His dream comes through. Martin completes his junior career with the Laser.
He plays his first NHL game on March 26th, 1992 when he faces the Boston Bruins and wins 4-2. He spends the following season with the Utica Devils in the American Hockey League.
In 1993-1994, his first NHL season, he plays 47 games and wins 27 while recording a 2.40 Goal-Against Average and registers 3 shutouts. Such performance is enough to see Martin receive the Calder Trophy awarded to the Rookie of the Year.
A work conflict cuts short the following season. The Devils go on to success thanks to Jacques Lemaire's defensive system and Brodeur is spectacular in goals. They go on to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games to win the 1995 Stanley Cup and for the first time in his young career, Martin can raise the precious trophy. His emotions are at an all-time high, it is an ultimate moment, the dream of any hockey player. On three occasions - 1995, 2000 and 2003 - his name is engraved on the prestigious trophy.
He participates in his first NHL All-Star Game in Boston in 1996. Throughout his career, he will be invited to the event ten more times. At the end of the season, he joins Team Canada for the World Championships in Austria and returns with a silver medal. He ends his summer by participating in the World Cup.
During the 1996-1997 season, the Devils end up as Division Champions. Martin has an exceptional year. He wins the William M. Jennings Trophy awarded to the goalkeeper having given up the least number of goals during the season, a trophy that he shares with Mike Durham. Eventually, he would win the trophy on four occasions.
He registers quite a feat during the playoffs when he scored a goal against the Montreal Canadians. For him, this is a high moment in his career from which he got much satisfaction.
In 1998, he becomes a member of the first team of professional players to participate in the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.
In 2000, the Stanley Cup would crown his season, the second time in his career. To honour him, Mayor Frank Zampino and the Saint-Leonard Town Council change the name of the local rink to that of Martin Brodeur Arena.
In 2002, he returns from the Salt Lake City Olympic Games with a gold medal around his neck. What pride for the entire family as his father, Denis, also a goalkeeper, won the bronze medal with the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen who represented Canada at the 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy. They become the only father and son goalkeeping duo to win medals in Olympic history.
In 2003, the New Jersey Devils win their third Stanley Cup in eight years and Brodeur earns his first Vézina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL. His outstanding play would eventually earn him three more.
Martin also participated in the Torino Games in Italy in 2006, but, despite his remarkable performance is not enough. Canada does not reach the podium.
With his hybrid style, his quick reflexes, his puck handling, his game in general and his great consistency of play, Martin keeps on being impressive and dominating. His statistics are impressive and records upon records go on the wayside.
This year he began his 15th season with the New Jersey Devils. This season a serious injury to his arm kept him out the game for a period of 4 months. He returned and eclipsed the record for the greatest number of wins in the regular season of 552 wins held by Patrick Roy. He is also got close to passing the mark of 103 shutouts registered by Terry Sawchuck.
Martin Brodeur is at the top of his trade. His ambition: remain at the top. Are young goalkeepers a threat? No, they are a challenge. It is in that spirit that Brodeur pursues his career.