Monday, March 24, 2008

Patrick Roy: Still a "Saint"?

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.

7 comments:

Stoosh said...

ASHLEY - I've always had a good bit of respect for Roy as a player and competitor. The one time I got to see him play live was in the 2000-01 season, and I truly count that as one of my more memorable games.

And while he's always kind of been excused as quirky, I think the guy has some issues. Didn't he get arrested a few years ago for assaulting his wife or something? I can't quite remember, but I thought there was some sort of altercation between him and his wife or something, and it escalated into something worse.

As far as this goes, if the "Q" doesn't come down hard on both him and his son for this, I'll be shocked and disappointed (just checked the "Q" website...apparently, sanctions will be announced tomorrow night).

His kid came off here as a brat who apparently is either trying to live off of Dad's name and reputation, or he somehow thinks he'll be protected because his dad will try to strong-arm the league. Patrick sometimes seems to think he's bigger than the team, the league and even the game (see December 2, 1995). If the team had any sense of class, they'd suspend Jonathan for at least the remainder of the playoff series, if not more.

The OHL has suspended players and coaches for much less severe stuff than this. I'm sure they'll come down fairly hard on Quebec for this, and rightfully so. This is the second major incident between these two teams in a couple of years.

DaBich said...

How sad that a player of patrick Roy's caliber has to act in such an unacceptable manner...and his son follow suit.
I agree with Stoosh, some kind of "just" punishment should be forthcoming, if only to protect the credibility of that league.

Ashley said...

Stoosh - you're right. Roy was arrested back in October 2000 for domestic violence. Apparently he had torn a few doors off their hinges after he had an argument with his wife. He did this one night after breaking Terry Sawchuk's record for most NHL wins by a goalie.

The Q will announce today what they are going to do with the two Roys. Jonathan did so many things that could lead to suspensions (leaving his crease and crossing centre ice, flipping the bird not once but twice, fighting twice and being the aggressor....) that there is no question that he will be sitting on the bench. The big question is how long he should be suspended. I say at least for the remainder of this year's playoffs, and into next season.

As for Patrick Roy, he should be punished accordingly as well. Sure, he's right in that he can't really and truly control his players because it's not like he can go and sit on top of them and prevent them from doing anything, but he needs to have some control over the situation. I watched the video on TV last night and it was pointed out that he yelled at his son right before he took off and pounded Nadeau, and I'm wondering what exactly he said. If it was something different from what the two Roys reported (that Patrick told his son to calm down), and if Patrick encouraged his son to act like he did, then the fine/suspension/both will be stiffer.

I think that the Q will hand out appropriate punishments here, but I'll have to wait until later in the day to find out.

In any case, what happened Saturday night was incredibly selfish. Just think about it: yes, the Remparts were getting beat really, really badly, but it was the second game in a playoff series where they had already won the first game. Now, their starting goalie is suspended (I assume he will be) and there may be others joining him on the sidelines. Is this what their team really, truly needs? Didn't they just make it so much harder on themselves? Chicoutimi won the second game to tie the series at 1, and now they will likely find themselves in a position to cruise to the second round.

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