The New Jersey Devils' unexpected success this season has come without any distinguished face of the franchise, a moniker that fit Martin Brodeur for 20-plus seasons.
Connor McDavid's status as the Edmonton Oilers' poster boy is in its infancy.
The Devils will honor Brodeur at Prudential Center on Tuesday night before attempting to avoid matching their longest skid of the season against McDavid and the last-place Oilers.
New Jersey (26-21-7) has missed the playoffs for three straight seasons and was supposed to continue a rebuilding process under rookie coach John Hynes. Instead of foundering through another season, the Devils are one point behind the New York Islanders for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The improvement has come without a signature star, a luxury that's been missing since Brodeur's final season with New Jersey in 2013-14.
Brodeur, who played seven games for St. Louis the following season, was a four-time Vezina Trophy winner and owns many of the NHL's goaltending records, most notably career wins (691) and shutouts (125).
He led the Devils to wins in three of five trips to the Stanley Cup final. Now, his No. 30 will be raised to the rafters to join former teammates Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer.
The emotions could provide a spark for New Jersey, which dropped to 0-1-2 in its last three with Monday's 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers. >> Read more…