St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Goaltender Martin Brodeur announced his retirement Thursday after 21 stellar seasons with the New Jersey Devils and seven games with the St. Louis Blues.
Brodeur, who joined the Blues in December after an injury to Brian Elliott, hadn't played since early January and was granted a leave of absence earlier this month to decide his future.
He will remain with the St. Louis organization as the senior advisor to the general manager.
"I know I can play and I can still have fun with this game," said Brodeur on Thursday, adding that he discussed his options with his family. "We came to the conclusion this is a great opportunity for me to start something new and I'm really excited."
Brodeur was 3-3-0 with a 2.87 goals-against average and one shutout during his brief stint with the Blues. Once Elliott returned, Brodeur became the odd-man out with Jake Allen as the primary backup.
"It was harder for me to stay on the sideline," said Brodeur of his recent role. "I had a blast for the month and a half I was here. They took me in as one of the family that meant a lot."
The 42-year-old Montreal native will always be remembered for his brilliant play with the Devils. He backstopped New Jersey to three Stanley Cup titles, won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender four times and set numerous NHL records during his time in East Rutherford and Newark.
However, Brodeur still wanted to play last summer when the Devils decided to make Cory Schneider their new franchise goaltender. Opportunities were limited last summer during free agency, as Brodeur wanted a certain situation.
When Elliott went down, the Blues called. Brodeur said it allowed him the chance to go out on his terms.
"The thing about hockey for me is I'm really competitive and I'm leaving the game with a big smile on my face," Brodeur remarked. "I don't think if I had done that last year, it would have been the case."
It appears as though relations with New Jersey may be strained, but Brodeur said he has spoken regularly with Devils president, CEO and now coach Lou Lamoriello -- even during his brief stint in St. Louis.
"We've stayed in contact," Brodeur said about his relationship with Lamoriello. "He agreed with me, this is the best opportunity for me and something he couldn't give me at this time."
Brodeur said once the Blues decided to stay with Elliott and Allen as their goaltending tandem, he really didn't consider trying to find another place to play.
"I didn't want to start moving around," he noted. "It's something I really didn't look at. I'm leaving the game really, really happy."
Lamoriello has publicly stated he wants Brodeur to rejoin the New Jersey organization and that a position will be available. However, Brodeur's not sure where he will go beyond this season.
"I'm committed to stay here through the end of the season," he said. "There's no commitment on whether I'll go back to New Jersey or stay in St. Louis. I'll make a decision when it's time."
A lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame, Brodeur holds regular season NHL goaltending records for wins (691), shutouts (125), games played (1,266) and minutes played (74,438) while in postseason history, he ranks first in starts (204) and shutouts (24) and second in wins (113).
"It would have been nice to get 700," Brodeur said about sticking around for a milestone victory. "I wish I could have played more games -- all these lockouts I got killed on it."
In addition to his NHL career, Brodeur also won gold medals with Team Canada at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics.