More often than not during Martin Brodeur's 19-season NHL career, a trip to Montreal has meant a win for the Devils and a chance for his father, Denis, to watch him play.
When the Devils take on the Canadiens tonight at Bell Centre, however, Denis Brodeur, 82, won't be in attendance. After having surgery twice in the last year to remove brain tumors, Denis is doing remarkably well, Martin says, but the trip to Bell Centre can be exhausting.
"He definitely could come to the game, but he gets tired," Brodeur said. "He's so nice that people talk to him and it's just going to be too much and it's going to take three days for him to recover, so it's not worth it."
So Brodeur planned to visit with his father and the rest of his family Saturday night after the team arrived in Montreal and Denis, who used to be a fixture at Canadiens' home games as the team's longtime photographer, will watch from home as the Devils try to improve to 4-0-0 for the first time since 1995-96. Denis also missed both of the Devils' games in Montreal last season because of health issues.
It was almost a year ago — Feb. 7, 2012 — that a CT scan revealed a cancerous tumor on Denis' brain that was a little smaller than a baseball after he had been experiencing dizzy spells and having trouble with his balance for nearly two months. He underwent surgery on Feb. 17 in Montreal to remove the tumor, and was still in the hospital two days later when Martin and the Devils defeated the Canadiens, 3-1, at Bell Centre.
Bittersweet night for Devils' Martin Brodeur
Bergen Record | Jan 27