Martin Brodeur has been a great goalie for a long time.
The 15 year veteran has been the steady force between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils, with whom he has played his entire career.
Thanks in large part to his play the Devils have not endured a losing season with Brodeur and even have three Stanley Cup trophies to their name.
Brodeur, 36, has been near the top of the heap year in and year out, winning the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie four times.
Thus Brodeur’s new title as the NHL’s most successful goalie is no shock.
Brodeur claimed victory number 552 last week in New Jersey’s 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
With the win Brodeur now has the most wins among all goaltenders in NHL history. He passed childhood idol Patrick Roy in his 987 pro game.
The Montreal native is also close to making history in another way. He is four clean sheets away from passing Terry Sawchuk and his 103 shutouts for most in league history.
With Brodeur assaulting the record books the question has arisen whether he is in fact the best goalie hockey has ever seen.
There are no easy answers because the league has seen so many great ones. From Dominik Hasek to Patrick Roy to John Vanbiesbrouck and Anthony James Esposito there’s been no shortage of epic net-minders.
The thing that Brodeur has going for him that the others don’t is dedication. Not to his craft or the sport but to his team. None of the others can claim to have been the face of a franchise quite like how Marty has.