Mike Vernon re-opened a very old wound.
Patrick wanted out. Listen to this from Mike Vernon: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/mike-vernon-cherishes-career-with-flames-1.2434290
At the 8 minute mark he notes how the game before Detroit, Patrick Roy talks to the Detroit goalie who tells him to get a trade. And Patrick lets in 9 goals.
I wrote this 6 years ago:
And Patrick Roy is getting embarrassed by the Detroit Red Wings 9-0. And he’s begging Mario Tremblay to pull him from the net.
And Mario doesn’t.
And so Patrick Roy announces that he’s done with Montreal.
And Rejean Houle trades him.
And the dark times begin …
And now we wonder if we are going to retire his number?
And he’s probably the third or fourth best goaltender that ever played for Montreal (Bill Durham may be the third). And he’s the reason we won in 1993. And he’s most of the reason we won in 1986.
But you know what, he quit on Montreal.
I don’t care about his antics. I don’t care about the fights. I don’t really care about whether he was a good human being. He was a great hockey player. And his greatness demands that we retire his number.
But I can not ever get over his quitting on Montreal.
Yeah other players held out, and were traded but they did it for the money or because things went bad between them and the team. And when they quit they always said the right things even when they were relieved to be out of town.
Only Roy demanded to be traded because he was *too* good for Montreal.
Only Roy decided that the Montreal Canadiens were not worthy of his services.
So maybe that makes him a great player, and maybe that makes him a legendary player, because he thought he was better than the Montreal Canadiens.
But you know what?
He will always be the guy that quit on Montreal. He will always be the guy that walked out on us.
And as far as I am concerned, that’s why he will never get his name on the rafters. Because he betrayed the team. And when we retire a jersey we’re making a statement about the kinds of players we want on our team, and we don’t want quitters.
So when they’ve retired Koivu’s number, and when they retire Chelios’ number and when they retire Lapointe’s number, and when they retire the number of every minor leaguer that ever wanted to play for the Montreal Canadiens and couldn’t, and when they retire the number of every kid who ever played pee-wee hockey dreaming of playing in the Montreal Forum or Bell Center, and when they honor every fan that ever bought a ticket, when they honor every mother and father who let their kids play hockey and told them about the Great Montreal Canadiens, and when they honor every attendant, journalist, fan who made being a Montreal fan so great, maybe, just maybe, we’ll find an inconspicuous spot in the rafters for the guy that decided that he was too good for us.
But until then, he is not welcome.
And a lot of folks were like... whatever dude... Get over it. Peanut was to blame...
And when he shows up and he does the whole "time to return home", I'm like okay... We can forgive...
But then this?
Here's a different version of the facts. Patrick decides he wants a trade. And his head is not in the game.
Maybe Tremblay notices how Patrick isn't even trying.
Mario thinks, fuck the goalie is trying to make me look bad and the team look bad. This is a mess.
So Mario keeps him in, it's one thing to have a bad game, it's another for your star goalie to phone it in.
Patrick then uses the 9 goals as an excuse to demand a trade.
Patrick Roy may be the greatest goalie to play the game. And he absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. And he deserves to be cheered and celebrated and recognized. But no, his jersey does not belong up there with Guy Lafleur's or Jean Beliveau's. Heck, Saku Koivu's deserves to be there more than Patrick's.
So pull it down.