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12-07-2012, 06:01 PM
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Richard Brodeur, G

Brodeur has a decent enough NHL career to merit selection now:

- He had a playoff for the ages, as he took Vancouver to the 1982 Stanley Cup finals, posting a .917 save percentage when the other goalies in the league averaged .883
- He finished 6th in Vezina/Allstar voting in 1982, and 8th in 1983, both with significant votes
- He was a workhorse goalie who was top-10 in minutes 5 times (2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th)
- He displayed excellent longevity, playing until he was 35. In his final season, only Billy Smith and Gilles Meloche were older among goalies, and only Salming, Robinson and Dionne among skaters.
- From 1981-1987 with Vancouver, Brodeur did not post gaudy personal numbers (though he was 6th in sv% in 1982 and well above average in 1981)but like Vancouver did to their goalies for the first 20 years of their existence, he was hung out to dry. He proved his capability by outperforming his backups by 9 sv% points (.872 to .863) over this 7-year period. This is actually identical to what another famous “good goalie on a bad team”, Gilles Meloche did for 7 years in California/Cleveland (.885-.876) and a little better than what he did in his next 7 years in Minnesota (.886-.881).
- Other starters for Vancouver over their pathetic first 20 years did this:
o 1971-73: +6 points over 3 seasons
o 1974-76: +9 points over 3 seasons
o 1977-78: +12 points over 2 seasons (this was our starter, Cesare Maniago, at age 38-39)
o 1979-80: +12 points over 2 seasons
o 1981-87: +9 points over 7 seasons (Brodeur)
o 1988-97: +5 points over 10 seasons (Kirk McLean)

That’s all respectable enough, but Brodeur was 28 when he became an NHL starter for the second half of his pro career. Prior to that he played 7 seasons in the WHA, 6 as a starter.

- He won the 1977 Avco Cup
- He was a 1975 Avco Cup finalist
- He was top-5 in minutes three times (1st, 5th, 5th)
- He led the league in sv% in 1978 and 1979
- He was a 2nd team all-star in 1979
- He was 2nd all-time in wins and playoff wins
- He was above the league sv% average every season except 1977, and outplayed his backups by 11 points from 1974-1979 (.890-.879)

In total he had a record of 296-289-72 in the regular season and 39-43 in the playoffs in 774 total NHL and WHA games from 1972-1988.

He was also the top goalie in the CHL when buried behind Smith and Resch in the Isles' Organization in 1980.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
...Canucks fans, and for that matter early Nordiques fans, can tell you that the stats are not truly indicative of "King" Richard Brodeur's stellar play.

Brodeur played most of his NHL career in the early to mid 1980s. Those years featured horrible Canuck teams in the same division as Wayne Gretzky's high scoring Oilers, Lanny McDonald's Calgary Flames, Marcel Dionne's LA Kings and Dale Hawerchuk's Winnipeg Jets. That's a whole lot of offensive firepower gunning at the poor Canucks, who relied on Brodeur to keep them in most games, and sometimes just to keep the score respectable.

Brodeur was, literally, the Canucks saving grace. He was an exciting goalie to watch, pretty acrobatic and had lots and lots of shots against. His career 3.85 GAA his grossly inflated by the high scoring Smythe division of the 1980s. His win/loss record is very respectable considering how bad the Canucks were in comparison to their divisional foes.

Brodeur's career highlight, like that of most Canucks and their fans of that generation, was the improbable 1982 Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup finals. Brodeur backstopped the Canucks with an 11-6 record and a 2.70 GAA. While the Canucks were lucky to have the LA Kings upset Gretzky's Oilers, The Canucks handled their opposition quite handily until they reached the Finals. Once there, the dynastic New York Islanders tore apart the Canucks, winning easily in 4 games. Dubbed "King Richard" for his fine play during the '82 playoffs, Brodeur's fine play couldn't stack up against the likes of Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies and most noteably - Mike Bossy. wasn't until the 1987-88 season that Brodeur was ousted out of that spot as the Canucks starting goalie. The arrival of a young Kirk McLean meant that Brodeur was now being asked to be a backup....

Brodeur's career actually started 8 years before he made the NHL. Drafted by the Islanders in 1972, Brodeur opted to skip out on the NHL and jump at the chance to stay in his home province by playing with the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association. Brodeur ranks as one of the best goalies in the WHA history. His 165 wins ranks second all time, only 2 wins behind Joe Daley. Brodeur also set a record for wins in 1975-76 when he had 44. That same season the Nordiques won the Avco Cup championship, symbolic of WHA supremacy.
Originally Posted by Canucks Legends
During that playoff, Brodeur flipped and flopped his way into the heads of opponents and teammates alike. Opposing shooters began thinking they couldn't beat The King and his lightning-quick reflexes.... We got good goaltending and we started believing in ourselves in a really good way", adds ********. "We felt they couldn't beat us, the other teams."... The Canucks took on the Calgary Flames in round one of the playoffs, riding the red-hot netminding of Brodeur to a three-game sweep. Brodeur allowed just 5 goals on 108 shots... "In one of those games, we outshot them significantly, recalls Paul Reinhart, "I seem to remember, though, it was a case of it just didn't matter. Brodeur could have turned backwards and the puck would have hit him in the back of the leg somehow. He was that good at the time."... In the conference final against Chicago, Brodeur turned in a spectacular 46-save performance as the Canucks beat the Blackhawks and ace netminder Tony Esposito 2-1 in double OT... Brodeur stoned Hawks' superstar Denis Savard on a breakaway not long into (game 5 of the semifinals). The Canucks were outshot 38-28 but managed to pull away for a 6-2 win and a berth in the final... Brodeur played more than 50 games in six of his eight seasons and won the team MVP award three times.

Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1975-76
Fierce little competitor with a colorful flare…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1976-77
appeared in more games than any other goalie in the league last season… though he is small, he is very durable and extremely agile… always cheerful and eager to help out… has all-star potential.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977-78
one of the WHA’s most colorful goaltenders… wheh he leads the Nordiques onto the ice, he races to the net… and when the teams change ends he tears down the ice to his new goal, passing the other goaltender before he’s as far as the first blueline…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978-79
popular among Quebec fans who remember his starring role in the 1977 Avco cup… very colorful performer… likes pressure.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1981-82
small but extremely quick and a good technician… was all-star goalie in Central League in 1979-80 with Islanders’ farm team… admits that he’s a trifle overweight but claims that his wife likes him that way.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1982-83
the star of the Canucks’ 1982 playoff success… superb goaltending anchored team’s advance to the finals… one of the NHL’s best during the season… compensates for small stature with strong technique and extraordinary reflexes and catching hand… laid back approach means he’s not bothered by a bad goal or a bad game
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1983-84
rescued off NHL scrap heap in 1980… has been one of the NHL’s best since then… was exceptional in Canucks’ advance to cup final in 1982…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1984-85
one of the great bargains in NHL history… his career was dead-ending in NYI organization in 1980 when Canucks acquired him as net insurance for exchange of 5th rounders… since then, has been one of NHL’s best goalies
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1985-86
Little Richard but often plays like King Richard… played well under adverse conditions for defensively weak team last season… seldom received much support from team with vulnerable defense and forwards who did not excel as backcheckers… master of making the seemingly impossible save… overcame serious injuries that could have ended his goaltending career… quickness is his strongest asset as a goalie…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1986-87
King Richard in Lotusland… bounced back impressively to win rave notices… NHL’s busiest goaltender in 1985-86
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1987-88
a veritable institution in Vancouver… No. 1 on the coast for the last 7 seasons… only two active NHLers are older than him… a workhorse who has averaged 50 starts and 3000 minutes per season…
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1987-88
Brodeur does everything well and he does nothing well. In other words, while he has no standout features to his goaltending, he is adept at all facets. He’s an excellent reflex goaltender who also does a fine job of playing the angles to cut down the shooter’s chances. Brodeur skates well, moving in and out of the net and around his crease with authority, but he does not usually roam from the net to handle the puck, preferring to leave it for his defensemen. He holds his posts well in action around the net. He is a little scrambly balance-wise, and that’s one reason he looks so acrobatic. That small lack of balance is why he is sometimes slow to regain his feet after going to the ice.

Brodeur is quick with his hands and feet and is also very flexible, able to get at that difficult shot with the toe of his skate or the tip of his glove, even when seeming to move in the opposite direction. He has a good glove hand and is fairly strong on his left side, but he has a tendency to be weak below the waist on his stick side. Richard also indicates a susceptibility up high, as evidenced by the times he gets hit in the head. Usually though, he sees the puck very well, making him strong on screen shots, and his quickness will get him to pucks that are deflected or otherwise redirected. He communicates well with his defensemen, and that’s important because Vancouver’s defensemen need a lot of help.

Brodeur is very tough and, with Vancouver allowing so many chances per game, he has to be. Brodeur has the ability to make the big save and can maintain his concentration through most circumstances. He is very rarely rattled by bad goals or games, able to bear down immediately and worry about the next goal, rather than the last one. He has good anticipation skills and they readily complement his quickness, making him difficult to beat from in close. Still, every once in a while, he’ll get caught off guard in his concentration. But that is definitely the exception to the rule. Because of the amount of shots he’s absorbed over his career, Brodeur – though only 35 - has a body 10 years older than that. He’s recognized that, and does off-ice work to maintain his conditioning. That indicates dedication. His work habits and day in-day out desire make Brodeur a leader for Vancouver.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1988-89
Brodeur has faced a lot of shots in his life, but his sterling performance against the Caadiens in the Adams Division semifinals shows he’s ready, willing and able to face a lot more. He might find himself jockeying for a job this year, but if Hartford had another goalie ready for the NHL they wouldn’t have had to trade for Brodeur. Richard should do well playing for a team that – finally – plays defense in front of him.

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