Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 11/19/08 at 06:55 PM ET
On Saturday night, prior to their game with the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens will honor Patrick Roy by retiring his No. 33 at the Bell Centre. The following is the transcript from the Q&A session Roy had with the NHL media today.
Q. Can you just talk about what it means to you, and did you think this day would come given your departure from Montreal?
PATRICK ROY: Well, you have no control on if they will retire my jersey or not, but I surely hope that that would happen one day. I knew they had a lot of guys to do before me. You know, the Canadiens haven’t done that for a long time, and I felt that the Savards, the Robinsons, Gainey, Dryden, they’ve been a big part of the history of the Canadiens, and I think they deserve that.
But it’s a great honor for me to join them. You know, to see my jersey retired by the Montreal Canadiens means a lot to me. It’s an organization with a great history and great tradition. I’ve seen them play when I was younger, and then watching games every Saturday and then going downstairs to play hockey because we were excited and we wanted to do the same thing that they were.
I mean, to see today my jersey retired, I mean, it is very special.
Q. Is the feeling different than in the Colorado situation?
PATRICK ROY: Well, it’s different. Yeah, I think it is different. I mean, this is where it started. I remember when the Canadiens made that press conference announcing the retirement of my jersey. I spoke with Mr. Gillett, and he said, you know, the people in Denver really appreciate what you did for them. They were really behind you when you arrived in Denver, and that made it great.
But it’s in Montreal it started. And it’s true, I mean, it all happened because my years in Montreal. They are a big part of my success as a hockey player.
Q. Do you look back with any regret about the way you departed from Montreal, or do you look back and say, Hey, that’s my competitive personality and that’s me and that’s what got me to the NHL?
PATRICK ROY: I think you touch a bit of it. You always have some regrets. I mean, nobody’s perfect. There’s things. But when you love to compete, and that’s the way I was, it was good side of it and bad side of it. But I don’t think I would have the career I had if I was not that type of person.
But the good thing about what’s going to happen on Saturday is we’re going to talk more about, you know, those years like ‘86 or ‘89 or ‘93. I thought we had great runs in Montreal. I think we finally gonna put away that December 2nd of ‘95, and that’s something that, you know, one game ?? I mean, it’s funny, because when you play ?? when you get to the NHL they say to you, One game does not make a career. But one game made pretty much my career in Montreal.
But I feel that that was not the case. I mean, I had so many good years and we had so many good teams. I mean, I played with ?? I played for great coaches, but I also played with great teammates. Nothing would have happened without the support of them.
But we had, you know, players that had that desire to want to win, and they were very special teams.
Q. Just following up on that, with that being said, and putting all that in the past, do you plan on now in the future kind of being a part of the Canadiens heritage and the events they hold and the stuff that’s going on this year?
PATRICK ROY: Well, my answer would be yes. But they approached me a couple times, I mean, in the past years. I didn’t not show up because of what happened on December 2nd or whatever. I mean, I didn’t show up because I didn’t have time. I mean, now I’m very involved with the junior, and coaching at the junior level takes a lot of time.
There was nights I wanted to go and watch games. I mean, when Radulov played against Montreal, I mean, I wish I could have been there, but we had a game. Vlasic is the same thing. I mean, these are players that I’ve coached. I would love to be at the Bell Centre when they retire the jersey of Bob Gainey. I mean, I did a bit of a video for him during that game ?? that presentation, sorry.
You know, it’s mostly because what I’m doing. But if I could be ?? if I had some free time and there’s something, yes. As much as I would do the same for Colorado.
Q. And then one separate question. What was it about playoff overtime that made you tick there? You just seemed to really grasp and take hold of it.
PATRICK ROY: To be honest with you, I mean, when overtime came, I mean, I was just ?? somehow it was even easier to focus. I was just focusing on making the next save. All you can do as a goalie is buy time for your teammates. I never scored a goal. They’re the ones who put the puck in the net. What you want as a goaltender is to say, Hey, let’s make those saves and buy time, and the hopefully we’ll put the big one before them. That was my approach, and I was fortunate enough to be a lot of time on the winning side.
Q. You mentioned something about being a kid and growing up and watching hockey. Who were your influences, hockey players, when you were growing up, players you wanted to emulate? And at what age did you know you wanted to be a goalie?
PATRICK ROY: My first year I was eight years old. My mother asked my brother and I if we wanted to play hockey. I said yes. She gave our name, and I said I wanted to be a goalie.
But what I ?? to be honest with you, I was probably 17 years old when I was starting to hear guys talking about scouts coming to games and stuff like that. But before that, I never thought I had ?? you know, to be honest with you, I never thought I could have a chance to play at the NHL level.
Q. Any players as a kid growing up that you wanted to emulate?
PATRICK ROY: Yes, my favorite players were, at the time, Rogie Vachon. He was playing for the Kings. The great reflex. He was spectacular to watch. Then after being a North Leagues fan and living in Quebec, Daniel Bouchard was my second favorite goaltender. Bouchard also had a bit of a style that I like. He was a little deeper in his net, but Vachon was challenging more the shooters. Bouchard was more like in between, you know, stand up and butterfly goalie. He had a bit of a style that I like it.
Q. Being from Detroit, as I am, I certainly remember watching that December 2nd, 1995 game on television and all the drama that went along with it. But being from Detroit, I’m curious as to your thoughts about the Red Wings/Avalanche rivalry while you were there. Did you have any inkling—and no offense when I say this—just how hated you were in Detroit?
PATRICK ROY: How hated I was?
Q. Yeah, in Detroit.
PATRICK ROY: Well, I didn’t feel that they hated me. I felt more there was a lot of respect. I met a lot of people from Detroit. Let’s say I went and played golf with my friends in Myrtle Beach and I met people from Detroit. I mean, they say, Oh, we hate you so much, but they’re laughing. They’re having fun with it. I think they love their team and want to see their team winning. It was a great rivalry with Colorado. I think there’s a lot of respect there.
But when you play the game, obviously they’re behind their teams. It was a great time. Every time we played the Red Wings, if it was in Colorado or Detroit, you could tell that the fans were into it and the media was into it. It was very easy to be motivated for that game.
Q. I’ve seen your entire career, and adversity has made you so much stronger. I’ve seen you grow so much as a person and as a man. You’re quite inspiring. Do you someday desire to be a head coach in the NHL?
PATRICK ROY: It’s a very good question. As we speak, it’s not something that I looked at, but I guess we should never say never. As we speak, I’m very happy with the junior level. It’s a learning process for me right now, and I’m learning a lot. I feel year after year I’m getting better at it. It’s a nice challenge.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have two passions in my life, as a hockey player and now as a coach. Coming into the rink every morning, I mean, watching games and try to get better. You know, even when I watch games now I’m not looking at them as a player, but more as, okay, look what they’re doing as a system. If the coach change, what kind of change he’s making and stuff like that.
I consider myself very fortunate and lucky to be able to have a situation like I have right now. But to be frankly, I mean, it’s not what I’m looking at right now. If it happens, I mean, yes, I probably ?? like Colorado last year Joel Quenneville decided to step down as a coach, people asked me if I was interesting to talk. Yes, I would have been interesting to talk, but it’s more by curiosity, see what they’re looking at and stuff like this.
I’m not sure if I would take over or if I feel I’m ready to coach right now in the NHL. You never know what could happen.
Q. Just a follow up. You’ve had so many highlights, but one of my favorite was that you had ten straight overtime wins back in 1993. Do you remember some of that and some of the things that stood out?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I remember that run very well. I mean, the first game we played we lost in overtime, and after that we went on. I mean, I gave up a bad goal on Joe Sakic to tie the game, and then I gave another one on Scott Young on a wrap around. After that, we went on to win ten straight.
At the end it was like we—you know, after two period, if we were tired we were almost hoping to go in overtime with the same score because we were so confident. We believed that it was the time we could not lose a game in overtime.
Q. Can you just comment on the irony that the Bruins will be the opponent on Saturday, and kind of reflect on some of the great battles you had with the Bruins.
PATRICK ROY: We had a lot of good games with the Bruins, and a lot of playoff games at the beginning of my career, in those ten years, actually, with Montreal. It was always—you know, it was always special playing against the Bruins, especially playing at the Boston Garden. I mean, it was a fun rink to play at, and I’m glad I had that opportunity to play in these rinks. I’m thinking of Chicago, Boston.
It was very intimidated for any players who started, and it was fun playing in these games. But, yeah, Boston, I mean, I’m thinking of Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, they were always in the middle of the battle and it was always good games.
Q. I believe at the time of your induction to the Hall of Fame the question was put to you, who was the one player, the goal scorer that you feared the most. If I’m not mistaken, your response after some thought was nobody. Talk to me about the level of confidence you developed, and where did that come from?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I believed that the position of goaltender is obviously a key one, maybe because I played the position. I always thought that goaltenders could not show weaknesses. As an example, we played against Detroit one year in the playoffs and we lost the first two games in Denver, and then we’re going in Detroit.
I felt that I could not show weaknesses saying, oh, yeah I’m not sure. It’s going to be tough. You’re presence, you always have to show that you were strong and nothing would affect you. I thought it was important. It’s like a goaltender giving a bad goal in the key moment of the game. You look at the bench and everybody has their heads down after the goal.
I think the position demands that you stand tall and say, Hey, guys, I’m there. You don’t want to have the players thinking, okay, is the goaltender going to be okay tonight? Is he going to be shaky? You want to make sure that the guys go, Okay, we’re okay. Patty is in the net. He’s going to have a good game, and all I have to worry is play hard as a team.
Q. What do you tell your son? I mean not only is he playing hockey, but the same position you did. He’s got a father with all the records. Even though he might not feel outside pressure, he certainly must put pressure on himself, saying, I want to be like my dad. What do you tell him?
PATRICK ROY: We have addressed that a lot in the past. I mean, always, the way we have been, when I speak of Michele, my ex?wife, I mean, we always want to make sure that we were very supportive to them and we allow them to be whatever they want and be there for them.
It’s the same thing. When Jonathan made the decision to be a goaltender, we wanted to make sure we are behind him. He was very young, but the older he was getting ?? I mean, I always thought he had a good approach. He was saying, Hey, I want to be myself. I like the position. There’s no reason for me not to play the position because my dad was a goalie as well, you know.
I thought he always approached it well. He enjoyed the position. After a while, I think people start to realize, yeah, he’s the son, but it’s Jonathan; it’s not Patrick. It’s easy to try to compare, but I think it’s in your approach and the way you’re dealing with it that makes it work.
Q. How do you want to be described and remembered for your time after life?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I think my dad, when he wrote the book, he took the title of the book Be a Warrior. But I think compete. I mean, I want people to remember the way I was competing and the way I was playing every night. I think that’s, you know, in life, you have moment where you have to persevere, and I think that’s what I want to be remembered at.
Q. Is there anything for Quebec or Montreal that you want to be remembered as?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I think it’s that, you know, every time I was going in the net, I mean, I was competing and I wanted to do. I wanted to be well?prepared and make sure that I would be performing at the good level.
But there was situations when I was younger, it would have been very easier for me to do something else. I was cut when I was Midget from Double C. I decided to persevere and keep playing the position, and the following year I made the Midget AAA.
I think if you do not, I mean, it’s obvious that a lot of things might not have happened if I didn’t persevere.
Q. Despite your accomplishment in the 1986 playoffs, you had to split duties with Brian Hayward. What was you reaction to that? Looking back at your career, do you think that was better to start your career by splitting duties?
PATRICK ROY: Well, the first year, actually I was with Steve Penny and Doug Soetaert. As a first year, I mean, I played what, 47 games. It was ?? I thought it was good for a first year. After they made a trade they went after Brian Hayward. He played very well, but I learned that you could not take anything for granted. You had to compete and play hard if you wanted to have the net.
There’s only one goaltender that plays every night. If you want it, you have to be well?prepared for every game and every season. That’s the only way, I mean, you could have the net every game.
Q. Which era was the most fun to play in?
PATRICK ROY: Tough question. To be honest with you, I mean, I appreciate every one of them. I mean, you know what, I had a good time in every one of them. I had great teammates and coaches, and every one of them were very special, to be honest with you.
Q. Which shooter was the artist to stop, and who was the toughest goalie to beat?
PATRICK ROY: The toughest shooters, I was so surprised when Ray Ferraro mentioned to me that Owen Nolan was the one who scored most goal on me. I always felt that Cam Neely scored a lot of goals against us.
The toughest goalie to play against, I could tell you that we had good runs with Eddie Belfour. I played Eddie three times, and two of them, I mean, they beat us in seven games. He was a great competitor. He was playing hard.
I knew every time we play him in playoffs, if we wanted to want I would have to play a solid game.
Q. Can you comment on what your emotion will be like on Saturday night?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I’m a person that keeps a lot of his emotion inside. I think that’ll be a great challenge, to see how emotional and see if I ?? how good it’s going to be and how good I’m going to feel during that night. A lot of people think I’m going to have some tears. When I retired or when I was in the Hockey Hall of Fame, I never been that type of person. It will be a good test for my emotion, that’s for sure.
Q. And also, can you comment on Marty Brodeur closing in on your wins record?
PATRICK ROY: I’m very happy for Marty. He has a great career so far and deserves to be ?? when I made my decision to retire, I knew he was going pass that record with no problem. And it’s sad what happened right now. He had a very good start. Regardless of the record, he had a very good start.
When you’re playing so well, I mean, you don’t want to miss games. I’m sure it’s a tough situation not just for Marty but for the Devils. At the same time, it’s a wake?up call for the Devils. They going to realize it’s important to have two guys that can play and prepare the future of your organization.
Q. You mentioned very often the importance of the influence of Francois in your career. How could you describe more precisely the type of a link that you developed together?
PATRICK ROY: First I met Francois when I was on my last junior year. What happened is the Granby Bison at the time were out of the playoffs, and they decide to send me and play—not play, but practice with Sherbrooke. I met him there for the first time. We start practicing, and then I felt Francois really liked the way I was playing.
But I think Francois, you know, was ?? deserve a lot of credit for the way I played, and really helped me to, I think, to get better at the position, especially on the butterfly. There were a lot of people that were saying I changed the style of goalies, but I think Francois was a big part of it.
Q. I was wondering if you can think back to when you first went to Colorado, first few games there. I guess did you miss the media at all back in Montreal?
PATRICK ROY: Did I miss ?? it was different, but there was media in Denver. There was a lot of people following the team. You know, I mean, after games, I mean, there was people asking questions. It was not as many people, but they were following the team as much as it was in Montreal.
Q. Did you feel as you tried to thrive off that attention in Montreal, sort of harness that and use it for your momentum? Did you enjoy it? What was your take on being in the middle of that?
PATRICK ROY: Yeah, you mean in Colorado or Montreal?
Q. In Montreal.
PATRICK ROY: Okay, I think in Montreal it just happened like that. I mean, when you start, I mean, obviously, I mean, there’s players that people ask more questions of. All of a sudden things started to get ?? things started to get, you know, better for me, and then it was more and more.
But, I mean, I think it’s important to be part of it. What I mean by that, is to answer the question. The media plays a good role in the game. I think it’s important to be respectful for them. I think it goes both ways.
Q. What advice would you give to a player like Carey Price right now?
PATRICK ROY: Well, I’m not ?? I’m not worried for Carey Price. He’s playing very well for them. The only thing he might go through, and it’s a normal process when you’re young, it’s hard to be consistent every night. It takes a bit of time. There’s going to be nights where he’s going to let a little bit more than normal. I’m sure that 85% of the games he’s going to be rock solid. He’s the future of Montreal and he’s going to be one of the best goaltenders in the league. He’s already one of the good goaltenders in the league, but might become one of the best in the league in a couple years from now with experience and he’s going to know more the league.
I think he has a great future in front of him. There’s no doubt about it.
Q. Will your team, the Quebec Remparts, be watching the ceremony and the game?
PATRICK ROY: It’ll be tough. It’ll be tough. We play Thursday, and then Friday in Montreal. Sunday we play at home. That’s three games in four nights. But just to get the tickets, I mean, if you go on eBay it’s very expensive. No, I’m just kidding.
It was tough to get the tickets for the game, and almost impossible to bring all the players.
Q. Although this is a ceremony that recognizes your NHL career, how big is it for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to have a former player and current coach who received this kind of recognition?
PATRICK ROY: Maybe you should ask them the question. I mean, it’s a tough question for me to answer, to be honest with you. I’m proud to be part of the league and proud to be part of CHL. It’s great to be part of a ?? give back to players from 16 to 10. Being part of it, it’s a great challenge. I like it. I enjoy every minute of it.
A lot of people say, yeah, you got a lot of bus rides and stuff like that. I don’t mind. Having a chance to work with them means more than that.
Q. Everybody has talked about your confidence, but when you first got to Colorado, did you have that moment of doubt where maybe you weren’t 100% sure going into a new environment, something that was completely foreign to you, how it would work? Did you have any doubts yourself how it would work out?
PATRICK ROY: You’re always a bit nervous, especially like Denver was the ?? they had a team there in the past, but it was, you know, fairly new for a lot of people. You always want to do a good impression and to play well. You always are afraid that your best years are behind you.
But you know what? I consider myself very lucky, because I played with great teammates for two great organization as well. You always follow stats, but maybe not as carefully that some others does. You know it’s funny, because I had about the same stats, and it’s not very often we see that, but you had about the same stats in Montreal that you had in Colorado winning two Stanley Cup. I mean, the number of wins and stuff like that.
I mean, when you look at it, it’s kind of nice.
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