Richard Brodeur shouldn’t have made it. 5’7″, 160lbs people just don’t make the NHL. Except for Brodeur, evidently. After beginning his professional career with the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA during the 70s, Brodeur had a brief stop in New York with the Islanders before moving on to the Canucks in 1980. Brodeur became the second regular in net after Gary Smith, filling a void that had been open for several years.
Brodeur had a solid 1981-82 regular season and things were looking up for him when he suddenly kicked it into overdrive during the playoffs. Brodeur earned the nickname “King Richard” during that run, being one of, if not the best player for the Canucks during their storied 1982 Finals run. Brodeur finished with an impressive 2.70 GAA in the ’82 playoffs.
Unfortunately, that would be the best things ever got for Brodeur during his NHL career. Still, Brodeur played a significant role in Canucks history not only for his famous play in the ’82 playoffs, but also for his long tenure with the Canucks. Brodeur broke Smith’s games record in 1983-84 and would pass his wins record the following season. Following the acquisition and subsequent success of Kirk McLean, Brodeur would leave the Canucks via trade in the 1987-88 season. Brodeur’s games record would be the longest standing one, lasting until the 1994-95 season when McLean surpassed his 377 games with the Canucks. Today, Brodeur is still an active part of the Canucks as an alumnus and spends much of his time painting.