Martin Brodeur undoubtedly left his mark in the National Hockey League.  He holds NHL records for the most wins (691) and most shutouts (125), as well as numerous other records. Brodeur led the Devils to three Stanley Cups.  He’s also picked up some hardware of his own, winning the Vezina Trophy four times and the Jennings Trophy five, with a Calder Trophy win as rookie of the year in 1994. 

While he’ll be remembered in the record books as well as in the rafters of the Prudential Center, he also earned a tribute in the NHL Rule Book via the introduction of the trapezoid.  

“The game was turning into a tennis match,” said NHL GM Brian Burke. “You’d dump it in and the goalie would throw it out and now with the soft chip into the corner it turns into a puck battle and a forecheck opportunity, which is what we wanted.”

As such, changes were made. Coming out of the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, the league instituted a number of rule modifications, one of which aimed to reduce puckhandling by goaltenders behind the net.

1.8 Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area – A restricted trapezoid-shaped area behind the goal will be laid out as follows: Seven feet (7′) outside of each goal crease (eight feet (8′) from each goal post), a two-inch (2″) red line shall be painted extending from the goal line to a point on the end of the rink ten feet (10′) from the goal crease (eleven feet (11′) from the goal post) and continuing vertically up the kick plate (see diagram on the page iv preceding the table of contents).

27.8 Restricted Area – A goalkeeper shall not play the puck outside of the designated area behind the net. This area shall be defined by lines that begin six feet (6’) from either goal post and extend diagonally to points twenty-eight feet (28’) apart at the end boards.

Should the goalkeeper play the puck outside of the designated area behind the goal line, a minor penalty for delay of game shall be imposed. The determining factor shall be the position of the puck. The minor penalty will not be assessed when a goalkeeper plays the puck while maintaining skate contact with his goal crease.

Brodeur was not a fan of the change.

”You can’t be happy, taking away something I’ve worked on all my life to do and help my teammates and help my defense,” Brodeur told the New York Times. ”It’s just part of me, playing the puck. So, definitely, you can’t be happy.

”It’s just the fact that the NHL wants to show the talent to their fans and stuff. And I think this is not doing it. I think it goes the other way around. It goes taking away a talent from guys. There’s a lot of guys that can’t play the puck, and that doesn’t affect them.”

“If they had 30 Martin Brodeurs out there, that rule wouldn’t be there; nobody would have voted for it. There are just too many teams that didn’t have these goalies that were ready to make sure the guys that were affecting the games weren’t able to do it anymore.”

Brodeur hung up his skates in 2012.  Now, his jersey will hang in the rafters.

His impact, though, will live on in the rule book… and in the trapezoids on the ice.

(Featured image via Tom Gulitti)