Martin Brodeur answers your questions
Devils' goaltender discusses Lemaire's return and the 2010 Olympics
In the lastest installment of Devils Q&A, the all-time winningest netminder in National Hockey League history (557) talks about the return of head coach Jacques Lemaire, his recent switch to Sher-Wood equipment, and his idea of the perfect getaway.
How would you describe the feeling of breaking the all-time wins record?
Martin Brodeur: It was a really good feeling. Just the fact that there was so much attention, and because it was in front of our fans, the emotions were high. It was almost a gift that I was able to give to all our fans to a certain extent, to be able to share that experience – that day – with them.
What if anything did you learn about yourself while being sidelined for 50 games last season?
Brodeur: That I love playing hockey. I missed it so much, and I'd never been hurt like that before. I learned not to take anything for granted about being healthy, because I think that says a lot about a hockey player.
How does it feel to have Jacques Lemaire as your coach again?
Brodeur: I'm really excited. I think he's going to bring a lot of good things for young players as far as teaching the game and teaching situational hockey. He's definitely going to be a big factor in our success next season.
Is there any memory of Jacques that sticks out in your mind from those earlier years in your career?
Brodeur: Winning my first Stanley Cup under him in '95. That's definitely the biggest memory I had under Jacques.
What are your thoughts on the Devils youth movement this year?
Brodeur: I think it's important. Every organization has to use the draft and its minor league teams to try and get some good players. This is the time for the Devils to see what we've been growing the past few years, and to see how they go out and perform. I'm happy to be a part of it. I think that's the beauty of being a veteran. It's really to teach certain things to younger guys to help them become better players.
What made you switch equipment brands (to Sher-Wood)?
Brodeur: I wanted to have more of a personal touch as far as my equipment was concerned. Making the move to a smaller company helps me to be able to communicate with some of the reps and get the stuff that I want the way I want it, instead of being a part of a bigger company when it can be harder sometimes to get the gear just the way you like it.
|Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur|
Palisades Park, N.J.
Brodeur: For me, Guy Lafleur is a player that I would've loved to played against... or with. Any of the best scorers and shooters – Mike Bossy would've been one, Lafleur would've been one. I've played against a lot of different guys, but Lafleur is the guy I would have loved to face.
If you could take a vacation with your family anywhere in the world, where would you like to go and why?
Fair Lawn, N.J.
Brodeur: With my family right now, I have all these little golfers, so I would probably go back to where my teammates sent me (for my 552nd win), which is Pebble Beach, Calif., to play golf with my kids.
What would be the best part of representing Canada at the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver and how would it feel to have Jacques Lemaire as the assistant coach for Team Canada?
Brodeur: Playing international hockey is totally different. You're doing it for a short tournament. But the feeling of winning for your country with the support that you have – you're talking about millions of people that are supporting that country and the pressure we would have playing in Canada – it would be pretty cool. Having Jacques there would be fun. He has tons of hockey experience but never in international hockey as far as the Olympics are concerned. I'm sure he's going to be really into it and it'll be interesting to see his input on the team. It's going to be a young Team Canada that's going to need some direction.
On the 2010 Winter Games being played on an NHL-sized ice surface:
It's definitely going to be a different ballgame for some of the European teams, being a more physical game. International hockey with the ice surface being so big, toughness doesn't become an issue. It's going to be a combination of skill, but definitely size and grit will be an important factor.
During the off season, how do you stay in shape? What's your favorite workout?
Brodeur: I ride the stationary bike a lot, so that's something that I don't mind doing. I workout with a personal trainer four times a week, plus my own cardio workout on top of that. So that's what I do to stay in shape, and I play a lot of golf which keeps me out of trouble (laughs).
If you could play another professional sport, what would it be and why?
Brodeur: I would definitely try to challenge Tiger Woods. I think golf is such a great sport; such an individual sport. One day you feel it, the next day you don't. For me, it's a sport that I love. To be a professional golfer would be something cool.
What kind of fun things do you do during the summer time?
Brodeur: I have my own little life... I play golf, I play in a little poker tournament every Monday. It's pretty simple – I just don't do anything. I really stay home. I don't travel. My vacation is being in Montreal and staying put. I see my friends, I don't really move around much. My family comes down and sees me. That's really what I do, and I have fun doing it. The team travels back and forth during the season with hotels and planes, so when it's time for me to sit back and relax, I really want to do just that. I don't feel like taking a five-hour flight somewhere.
Which of your teammates, past or present, has made you laugh the most and how?
Jersey City, N.J.
Brodeur: Now he's a past teammate, but probably John Madden. He's a really funny, sarcastic guy.
Since you have your own pizzeria in Montreal, I was wondering what is your favorite kind of pizza?
Brodeur: Any pizza with a lot of vegetables on it. I usually don't eat it that often, but when I do get to the pizzeria, it's no meat, just veggies.
Do you plan on opening a "La Pizzeria, Etc." branch in New Jersey?
Brodeur: Right now it's not in the plans.
What are three things you would tell parents of goalies that they should do to help the kids reach their potential?
Old Bridge, N.J.
Brodeur: First, let them be themselves; let them be kids. That's one of the important things. Sometimes parents can be overwhelming with the way they act around their kids. Second, I think it's about making kids realize hockey's a sport and that to be a better athlete, you need to play different sports. A lot of people get stuck on playing hockey 12 months out of the year. When you're young, you need to develop your skills, and with playing only one sport that's hard to do. If you're able to, play tennis or golf or soccer or any other sport that's going to take a kid out of hockey and really teach different skills. In the end, that's going to pay off because the kid's going to be a better athlete because of it. After that, I think it's about supporting them, and being there for them. Not just sending a babysitter or a brother or sister, but being there for them in competition, practices and games.