Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/27/10 at 11:58 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
There was Conroy, on the ice at the old Montreal Forum, attending his first training camp with the Canadiens, and performing a rudimentary shooting drill. Fuelled in equal parts by his trademark qualities – excitement and enthusiasm – Conroy launched a rising slap shot at net – and accidentally plunked goaltender Patrick Roy smack in the face.
Roy was the Habs franchise back in 1994-95, as temperamental as ever, and didn’t like a raw rookie using his noggin for target practice, even inadvertently.
“He stormed out and punched me in the head,” the now Calgary Flames centre recalled. “I mean, both teams came after me. There was a big melee at centre ice; everybody was yelling at me; and I’m trying to apologize the whole time. I’m thinking: ‘This is crazy, this is not the way I want to start my career.’ ”
Perhaps not. But from that inauspicious beginning, the sixth-round pick in the 1990 draft forged an unexpectedly successful career in which he will play his 1,000th NHL game Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Fifty-four days past his 39th birthday, Conroy will become the fourth-oldest player in NHL history to reach that milestone.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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