He’s put away his goalie equipment for now, but legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur will be staying with the St. Louis Blues for another three years as assistant general manager.
The club made the announcement of Brodeur’s new three-year contract on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old Brodeur joined the Blues on Dec. 2, 2014 after being signed as a free agent because of an injury to Blues starting goaltender Brian Elliott. Brodeur was 3-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average and one shutout during seven games with the Blues before announcing his retirement as a player on Jan. 29, then moved into the club’s front office as a senior adviser to General Manager Doug Armstrong.
“I’m excited, I think it’s a great opportunity,” Brodeur said in a video on the Blues’ web site. “I had a little taste last season being around Doug and the organization and really enjoyed myself.”
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Many felt Brodeur would eventually wind up in the front office of the New Jersey Devils, the team he spent 21 seasons with and helped win three Stanley Cup championships.
But after longtime Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello’s recent decision to step down and the hiring of Fred Shero as New Jersey’s new GM, Brodeur apparently decided to remain with the Blues. He joins a strong board room of former NHL stars in the Blues front office that includes Hall of Famers Al MacInnis and Brett Hull along with Dave Taylor.
“It was in the back of my mind,” Brodeur said when asked about the possibility of staying within the game in a front-office capacity. “I’d been so long with the Devils and thinking about maybe making that jump eventually. It was a great fit for me and I think it works out well. I’m really happy about it.”
Brodeur ended his 21-season playing career as the NHL’s all-time leader in victories with 691, also finishing first all-time with 125 shutouts, 1,266 games played and 74,438 minutes played. He helped lead the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup championships (1995, 2000 and 2003) and helpd guide Team Canada to a pair of gold medals at the Winter Olympics.
The 10-time NHL All-Star also holds NHL playoff records for starts (204) and shutouts (24) and is second in wins (113).
Brodeur said he plans to immerse himself in learning as much as possible about the organization and his new duties. Next on the off-season agenda are pro and amateur meetings, contracts and player personnel decisions and preparations for the draft and free agency.
“These are all new things for me,” Brodeur said. “I’m just going to learn the organization, the direction we want to take. I don’t think they’ve chosen me to sit there and don’t say a word . I think the opinion is important and I feel comfortable enough and I know the game well enough.”
Any interest the Blues had in former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock ended Wednesday when Babcock was hired as the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Current Blues coach Ken Hitchcock just finished the final year of his contract and the Blues are facing a decision involving Hitchcock as well. The Blues won the Central Division title and were among the NHL’s top teams during the regular-season, but were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Minnesota Wild.
The 52-year-old Babcock received an eight-year deal from the Maple Leafs worth a reported $50 million. That makes him the highest paid coach in NHL history.
The Blues and Buffalo Sabres were reportedly among teams interested in Babcock, along with his most recent employer, the Red Wings.