For a future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender, we have become accustomed to seeing a particular mask and knowing immediately who's it was. With the familiar red with white trimmed "J" logo on the forehead and red flames along the sides of a black mask, you'd know it has been owned by none other than New Jersey Devils netminder Martin Brodeur.
But Brodeur debuted a new goaltender mask at practice this morning at AmeriHealth Pavilion inside the Prudential Center.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur practices
this morning inside the AmeriHealth Pavilion in
Newark, New Jersey as he wears his new mask.
(photo courtesy: New Jersey Devils)
According to the Devils' news release:
"The new 'MB30' logo combines Brodeur's initials with the number he has worn since his first full season in New Jersey, and incorporates the horns and curled tail that are familiar to any Devils fan. The interior is subtly accented by the crisscrossing shape of a goal net."
Martin Brodeur's new mask (photo by Denis Brodeur, Jr.)
We've been used to the same mask since the 1993-1994 season. But there is just the small change in the overall look with an "MB30" logo instead of the "J", an icon that as mentioned by Don LeGreca this afternoon on NHL Live! dates back to Brodeur playing with the American Hockey League's Utica Devils (now the Quad City Flames) the season before.
But Brodeur explained it was time for some kind of a change.
"We talked about it a long time to try and personalize the mask by putting my initials and number on top of it," he said. "It's still the same look, just a little different on top. We wanted to make a change."
Fans will get to see him sport the mask for the first time when the Devils open the new 2008-2009 National Hockey League season when the host the New York Islanders on Friday night.
But also on that day, Brodeur will launch his own brand-new web site martinbrodeur30.com, an online destination where you can find everything you need to know about him and his hockey career.
Brodeur's upcoming web site features his "MB30" on the home page. It is set for launch on October 10th.
(image courtesy: martinbrodeur30.com)
And speaking of his career, the Devils goaltender is on the verge of setting new all-time NHL records this season and they are big ones. Having won the last two Vezina Trophy awards, Brodeur is just 14 wins away from passing Patrick Roy's 551 for first overall in league history. With 8 more shutouts, Brodeur will pass Terry Sawchuk's 103 to become the all-time leader as well.
So get accustomed to hearing Brodeur's name frequently in the weeks and months to come. For fans of Brodeur, Devils fans and hockey fans as a whole, it should be a historically memorable season for the man donning the Devils' "NJ" logo on his chest as he has for the last 15 years.