Martin Brodeur is entering his 19th season in the NHL with a little excitement, some expectation and a new teammate who is a blast from the past:
''Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!''
The Devils started the season off with a surprise Friday, placing top draft pick Stefan Matteau, 18, on their 23-man roster for the opener against the New York Islanders Saturday.
The rookie's father, Stephane Matteau, is a former New York Ranger, who helped defeat Brodeur and the Devils in a classic 1994 Eastern Conference final series. Stephane scored in double overtime of Game 7 to eliminate New Jersey en route to a New York Stanley Cup. His famous tally prompted the aforementioned radio call by former Rangers play-by-play man, Howie Rose.
Most observers felt the Devils would send Matteau down rather than have his first year come in a 48-game season. But he can still be sent down after five games and not lose his rookie service time.