(Before reading, press play and enjoy the mood music)
The diminutive Richard Brodeur, 5'7", was a fan favorite during his time with the Vancouver Canucks. He backstopped the 1982 Canucks all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Islanders. The Canucks stormed their way through the play-offs, only losing two games through the first three rounds. The Cinderella story fell short as the juggernaut Islanders swept the Canucks in the Finals.
Brodeur was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the 7th round of the 1972 draft but opted to sign with the Quebec Nordiques of the fledgling WHA. Brodeur won an Avco Cup, the WHA league championship, with the Nordiques in 1977. When the WHA folded in 1979, the Islanders, who still owned Brodeur's rights, struck a deal with Nordiques. The Islanders left Gerry Hart unprotected in the expansion draft and then sent goalie Goran Hogosta to the Nordiques for Brodeur.
Brodeur saw limited action in two games during his single season with the Islanders, as third string goalie behind Billy Smith and Chico Resch. Prior to the 1980 waiver draft, the Islanders, instead of risking losing Brodeur for nothing, traded him to the Canucks in a deal that include a swap of 5th round picks. Brodeur was the Canucks top goalie for the next several seasons. The Canucks were a fairly bad team during those several seasons. In a division with the Gretzky and Oilers, Dionne and the Kings, Hawerchuk and the Jets, and McDonald and the Flames, Brodeur and the Canucks goalies found themselves basking in the red light quite often. Brodeur led all NHL goalies in most goals allowed twice, 1985 and 1986.
Although the Canucks suffered through much of the 1980s, Brodeur will be most remember for his superb playoff run in 1982. Brodeur became expendable in 1987, when the Canucks acquired Kirk McLean, who would also lead the Canucks to a Stanley Cup final. Brodeur was traded to the Hartford Whalers for another goalie, Steve Weeks.
Brodeur played six games for the Whalers, as well as four in the play-offs. After failing to make the team out of training camp in 1989, Brodeur hung up his skates after playing several games in the AHL. Post retirement, Brodeur became an accomplished artist.
Richard Brodeur never made the cut for the 1988-89 OPC set. Here's the 1988-89 OPC Richard Brodeur card that might have been.
|1988-89 OPC #266 Richard Broduer|