Legends who lost it
Sports greats whose brain cramps and blown fuses made headlines
by Tony Care, Chris Harris & Dan Tavares
July 14, 2006
A just-suspended Patrick Roy pushes through a crowd of photographers two days after what proved to be his last game as a Canadien. But Roy more than had the last laugh: his departure to Colorado helped catapult the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup. (Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)
A humiliated Roy issues an edict
By the time the 1995 season began, goaltender Patrick Roy was already a hockey legend in Quebec. Roy led the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups (1986 and 1993) and earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in both years.
However, the hiring of former Canadiens winger Mario Tremblay as coach just after the beginning of the season changed the fortunes of two franchises for years to come, and gave fans one of hockey's more memorable in-game meltdowns.
With Roy and Tremblay already at odds, the Detroit Red Wings came to town for a game at the Forum on Dec 2.
The Red Wings were hammering the Canadiens and Roy looked over at the Montreal bench expecting to be replaced. In an effort to humble the Montreal goaltender, Tremblay refused to budge as he watched the Red Wings pepper Roy with nine goals before taking him out. Before he was finally removed, he made several animated gestures to the crowd from his crease.
Then an enraged and humiliated Roy promptly headed directly to Canadiens president Ronald Corey, stating he would never play for Montreal again. Roy then slowly walked by Tremblay, giving him a cold stare before making his way to the dressing room.
Newly hired general manager Rejean Houle was pressured to make a deal and traded Roy four days later to the Colorado Avalanche along with right-winger Mike Keane for forwards Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.
Roy led Colorado to a Stanley Cup that season and won another title with the team in 2001.
While Roy became the winningest goaltender in the history of the game,
many point to that lopsided deal by the inexperienced Houle as the downfall
of the Canadiens.