After more than 20 seasons and three Stanley Cup titles, Sunday might have been the final game of Martin Brodeur's career with the Devils. It's possible it was the final game of his storied career, period.
In case it was, the fans in New Jersey gave him a proper sendoff.
Throughout the final few minutes of the game, the packed crowd on hand to see an otherwise meaningless season finale chanted their appreciations for Marty. There were simple chants of his name, there was the old "Marty's Better!" and, of course, there was some of "Thank You, Marty!" among the Devils faithful.
It only continued after the game when the Devils hung on for a 3-2 victory against the Bruins. His Devils teammates gave him the customary post-win hugs and then they all moved to the side of the ice to let Marty have his moment for the fans. Goosebumps.
Brodeur talked at the trade deadline about possibly leaving the Devils as he was hoping for more playing time, something that was vanishing behind Cory Schneider. Now he hits free agency this summer and he's been pretty open about wanting to continue playing, whether it's in New Jersey or elsewhere.
At this point, though, it sounds like it will be elsewhere if it's anywhere.
Hardest things for Brodeur this season? hardest “Not playing as much, it was difficult. The position that the coaching staff was in having— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 13, 2014
Brodeur: "...two goalies. It just doesn't work. It didn't work in Vancouver and it didn't work here too good. We didn't make the playoffs.— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 13, 2014
Brodeur: "...When you have one good goalie you have to give him the bulk of the work. Schneids will get that from now on.”— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 13, 2014
He said he wants to play for a Cup contender and knows he'll have to prepare to be a backup but said he wants to go somewhere where he can play 30 games or more, ideally. That might be tough given his .901 save percentage in each of the past two seasons.
If this is the end of his Devils tenure, it was certainly one of the -- if not the best -- ever. He played 1,259 games with New Jersey, winning 688 games (and NHL record by a large margin) with a Calder Trophy, four Vezina Trophies, three Stanley Cups (and two runner-up finishes) and nine All-Star Game appearances.
If this is the end of his Devils tenure, the fans gave him a solid goodbye.