I’m sure you’ve all read by now that Martin Brodeur is a member of the St. Louis Blues. It’s weird to type and even more strange to say out loud. Go ahead and try it right now.
Some might dump on Brodeur’s decision to keep playing and join a team that isn’t the New Jersey Devils. It was bound to happen though. Brodeur still wants to play and the Blues wanted his services.
As one of the NHL’s most famous goalies, and arguably the best all-time, Brodeur holds many records. He holds the record for most games played at his position (1,259), wins (688), and shutouts (124) – all of those records could grow as a member of the Blues. Consider the fact that with a new team, it’s entirely possible Brodeur will become the first goalie to ever win 700 NHL games.
However, there is one record Brodeur surrendered with the stroke of a pen: Most wins by a goalie who spent their entire career with one NHL team.
That might sound ridiculous, but finding a goalie – or any player for that matter – who stayed with one team for his entire career is quite rare.
Patrick Roy? No. Ed Belfour? No. Curtis Joseph? No. Terry Sawchuk? Jacques Plante? Tony Esposito? Nope, nope, nope. To find the new leader in this category, you have to go all the way down the all-time wins list to the 24th spot: Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers with 318 wins. Not bad for a seventh-round pick in 2000, eh?
Now that Brodeur is with the Blues, the record for wins by a goalie who spent their entire career with one team is Henrik Lundqvist at 318.
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) December 2, 2014
The fun thing about this record to me is that there is always an asterisk. Lundqvist holds the record for now, but if he ever plays one single NHL game for a team that isn’t the New York Rangers, he’ll forfeit it.
Turk Broda is the next-highest goalie, winning all 302 of his career wins with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lurking just one win behind him is Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But if both Lundqvist and Fleury ever play for another team, Broda will hold the record. You might even argue Broda should already be considered the current record-holder because he is retired. The last game he played was 15 years before the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup.
Looking at forwards, Wayne Gretzky obviously crushes the all-time points record with 2,857. But he doesn’t hold the record for most points scored with just one team. That honour belongs to Steve Yzerman who scored all 1,755 of his points with the Detroit Red Wings, just 32 points ahead of Mario Lemieux for the record.
Ray Bourque could have easily run away with the record for most points by a defender who only played for one team, but all it took was that little stint with Colorado in his final two seasons to ruin that record for him. He got a Cup out of it, though, so I doubt he’s too heartbroken about it. The record for defenders now belongs to none other than Nicklas Lidstrom with 1,142 points for the Red Wings. Kind of amazing Detroit can claim both the top forward and defender in this category, isn’t it?
Longevity with one team is difficult in this league. Maybe you sign elsewhere, maybe your team doesn’t want you anymore, maybe you get traded. Staying with one team forever is rare and greatness with one team even moreso.