Patrick Jacques Roy
Born October 5, 1965 (age 46) in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche
Patrick celebrated a birthday on Wednesday with Mario – in fact, they were born 200 km (124 miles) apart on the same day! He started playing in net at the age of seven and played for the Sainte-Foy Gouveneurs and Granby Bisons before being picked 51st in the 1984 draft by the Montreal Canadiens. This proved to be a bit of a sticky situation for Patrick – he was a fan of the Quebec Nordiques! (Unfortunately one Nordiques fan, his grandmother, died before she saw him drafted to her favorite team.) He was still playing with the Bisons when he was called to replace the Habs’ goalie in the third period on February 23, 1985. In 20 minutes of play he blocked every shot and garnered a win, and the Habs sent him to the Sherbrooke Canadiens in the AHL. It actually worked out, because he led them to a Calder Cup championship.
He was called up to Montreal for the next season and eventually started in net for them in the playoffs, where they won the Stanley Cup and he won the Conn Smythe – the youngest to do so at 20 years old! He went on to win the William M. Jennings Trophy in 1987, 1988 and 1989, sharing it with Brian Hayward, and won the Vezina in 1989 and 1990. In 1992 he won the Jennings, the Vezina and was named to the All-Star First Team.
In the 1993 playoffs, someone in a Quebec City newspaper suggested that Patrick be traded after the Habs lost two games to the Nords. Those were fighting words, because they motivated him to not only beat the Nords but lead them to another Stanley Cup and earn the Conn Smythe again. The next year, during their playoff series with the Boston Bruins, he got appendicitis and was pulled for game three. After he begged his doctors to let him play in game four (I’d say more like told them he was playing), he helped the Habs win that game 5-2 and made 39 saves.
The end of “Saint Patrick’s” run in Montreal came during the 1995-96 season, after the worst loss in Habs history – an 11-1 loss at home to the Red Wings. After allowing nine shots in and being heckled when he’d make a save, he was pulled and told the team president that it was his last game in Montreal. He criticized the coach after the game, and the next day he was suspended. Four days later, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. It should be noted that after he was booted, the Canadiens didn’t have a solid goaltender till Jose Theodore arrived in 2001, and ESPN called the trade one of the worst moves in the network’s 25 years of existence (ouch!).
It was on to Denver for Patrick, and he promptly helped the Avs win not one but two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, which is when he won his record third Conn Smythe. He was also part of the epic Avs/Red Wings brawl in 1997, fighting goalie Mike Vernon; the next season he wailed on Chris Osgood as seen in the above picture. His final NHL game was on April 22, 2003 – it was an overtime loss in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
So what did he leave behind? Records for most playoff games played by a goalie (247), most playoff wins by a goalie (151), most playoff shutouts (he’s tied with Marty Brodeur with 23) and he’s the first goalie to play 1000 games. Oh, and both the Habs and Avs have retired his #33 jersey. Nowadays he spends his time as the co-owner, GM and head coach of the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL. The guy who used to talk to the net posts but not to reporters on game day has certainly left his mark on the hockey world.