They called him "Saint Patrick."
He won the 1986 Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in his rookie year, and again in 1993. He won the Cup two more times with the Colorado Avalanche.
He was quite the character, and was a quotable player now and then, with Stanley Cup rings plugging his ears.
He even fought on occasion
Quirky? Yes. He never skated on the blue lines, he often talked to the goal posts, and he didn't talk to reporters before a game...but aren't all goalies a bit quirky?
However, one could also say that he has a certain lack of class. Trouble just keeps following him around.
After retiring from the NHL, Roy made the leap into coaching. The Remparts lost the QMJHL Championships to the Ted Nolan-coached Moncton Wildcats in 2006, but since Moncton was hosting the Memorial Cup that spring and already had a berth in the tournament, the Remparts were invited to participate. The rookie coach led his Remparts to the finals against the Cats, and won the Memorial Cup. That was a highlight in his career as a coach.
Unfortunately, he hasn't had many more shining moments since hanging up his goalie pads. In January 2007, there was an incident between Roy and the co-owner of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Pierre Cardinal. Roy apparently threw punches at Cardinal after a crowd of fans surrounded the Remparts' bus after a game between the teams. Cardinal filed a claim of assault with the police, but later withdrew his complaint. Roy claimed that the media displayed prejudice against him by saying that he didn't show remorse over the incident and even contemplated resigning as head coach and co-owner, though he eventually decided to remain with the club.
Just this past weekend, another incident happened between Quebec and Chicoutimi. It was Game 2 of the best-of-7 playoff series between the two teams, and the Sagueneens were up 7-1 at the end of the second period when Christophe Poirer of Quebec and Joel Champagne of Chicoutimi collided and a brawl ensued. Jonathan Roy, Patrick's son and Remparts goalie, challenged Chicoutimi goalie Bobby Nadeau to a fight. Roy Jr. bolted down the ice and jumped Nadeau, pounding him even though he had fallen to the ice.
As the younger Roy was being led off the ice, he decided to give a few one-finger salutes to the crowd, after which Chicoutimi d-man Sebastien Rioux jumped him.
Coach Roy said that he did not encourage his team to fight the Sagueneens, and that he "can't control the reactions of [his] players in the heat of action."
He also went on to say that he did not encourage his son to fight Nadeau, and that his son likely saw Nadeau at the blue line and saw it as an invitation to fight - even though the video clearly shows Nadeau in his crease when Roy charges over and attacks him.
His son also said that he was not instructed to fight the Chicoutimi goalie.
"Patrick looked at me and told me to calm down," Jonathan Roy said. "I said to myself, `He doesn't want me to go', but when the line judge released me, I said to myself . . . `I'm going."'
I'm not saying that Patrick Roy is completely responsible for the latest incident because the players themselves decided to release some of their anger and frustration on the Sagueneens. That being said, a coach must also accept a certain amount of responsibility for what his players do on the ice, and the actions of his son were completely unacceptable. A goalie-goalie fight is (somewhat) fine, but don't keep punching the guy after he has fallen to the ice. And don't flip off the crowd. Jonathan Roy's actions proved him to be an immature little show-off.
However, this is not the first time that Patrick Roy has been in the news in the past few years. Every few months or so, you hear about Roy and his altercations with various people in the Q. I sometimes wonder if the Quebec media will grab onto anything and everything that happens with Patrick Roy and blow it out of proportion, or if the truth is being reported. Either way, Patrick Roy is one big distraction for his team. If you thought that Ray Emery and his antics were distractions, imagine having your head coach/GM/owner, who just happens to be one of the best goalies in history, getting in fights (verbal and physical) on a regular basis.
The saying is, "Like father, like son." I suppose this is true when it comes to the Roy family, and I guess you could also say, "Like coach, like players."
At the end of the day, the Remparts' dressing room is home to an immature crew that doesn't know what it means to be a classy player that shows respect. Chicoutimi may have been beating them badly, and Quebec needed to demonstrate that they weren't going to roll over and die, but to do it like they did was entirely unacceptable.
Monday, March 24, 2008
They called him "Saint Patrick."