Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day, a day when a lot of people honor the man who, as legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland.
In Montreal, "St. Patrick" had a whole different meaning -- rather than casting out snakes, Patrick Roy's specialty was keeping pucks out of the Montreal Canadiens' net. Roy is the starting goaltender on NHL.com's "All-Patrick Team," a group made up of the League's best players with the given name or surname of Patrick.
Roy is one of the two modern-day Hockey Hall of Famers with the first name Patrick -- the other is longtime Islander and Sabre Pat LaFontaine, the big gun on our all-Patrick club.
On the surname side, the Patricks -- Lester, Frank, Muzz, Lynn, Glenn and Craig -- are one of hockey's first families. Two other Patricks, James and Steve, aren't related to the others but made their own mark on the NHL.
With a tip of the cap from all of us at NHL.com, here's our All-Patrick team:
Patrick Roy (Montreal/Colorado, 1984-2003)
The "St. Patrick" nickname came after Roy led the Montreal Canadiens to an unexpected Stanley Cup as a rookie in 1986. He won another Cup in Montreal and two more after being traded to Colorado during the 1995-96 season. When he retired after the 2002-03 season, Roy held the record for victories in the regular season (since passed by Martin Brodeur) and the playoffs (a mark he still holds).
Backup: Patrick Lalime (1996-present)
Pre-NHL honoree: Patrick Joseph "Paddy" Moran
Pat Stapleton (Boston/Chicago, 1961-73)
At 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, Stapleton was a puck-mover, not a banger -- and in the late 1960s and early '70s, there weren't many defensemen who moved the puck better than "Whitey." Stapleton played in four All-Star Games and was a Second-Team All-Star three times. He was a big reason for the rise of the Blackhawks in the late '60s, and played on teams that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 1971 and '73.
Backup: Pat Quinn (Toronto/Atlanta/Vancouver, 1968-77)
James Patrick (NY Rangers/Hartford/Calgary/Buffalo, 1984-2004)
James and brother Steve weren't related to the famous Patrick clan -- though both wound up playing parts of their careers with the New York Rangers. In James' case, he went right from Team Canada after the 1984 Olympic Games into the Rangers' lineup -- and stayed there for a decade, until being dealt to Hartford during the 1993-94 season (thereby missing the Blueshirts' run to the Stanley Cup). He was dealt to Calgary later in the season and spent four-plus seasons with the Flames before moving to Buffalo and spending his last six seasons on the Sabres' blue line. He wound up with 1,280 games played (the most of any Patrick), 149 goals and 639 points.
Backup: Muzz Patrick (NY Rangers, 1938-46)
Honorary Patrick (for middle name): Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly
Pat LaFontaine (NY Islanders/Buffalo/NY Rangers, 1984-98)
LaFontaine was one of two Patricks (Patrick Flatley, a teammate of James Patrick, was the other) who joined the Islanders following the 1984 Games, and wasted no time showing why the Isles took him with the No. 3 pick in the 1983 Draft. He scored 13 goals in 15 games after joining the four-time defending Cup champs and went on to score 40 or more goals in four consecutive seasons, including 54 in 1989-90 to lead the Isles to an unexpected playoff berth. He was dealt to Buffalo in the fall of 1991 and teamed with Alexander Mogilny to form one of the NHL's deadliest duos, putting up a career-high 148 points in '93-94. Injuries began to plague him after that, and he retired in 1998 after sustaining a concussion while playing for the Rangers. LaFontaine was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003 after piling up 1,013 points in just 865 games.
Backup: Lynn Patrick (NY Rangers, 1934-46)
European division: Patrik Elias (New Jersey, 1995-present)
Patrick Marleau (San Jose, 1998-present)
Marleau is one of two first-rounders named Patrick taken by the Sharks, and has fared considerably better than Pat Falloon, the first player ever drafted by San Jose. The Sharks took Marleau with the No. 2 pick in the 1997 Entry Draft, put him in the lineup that fall and have seen him set franchise records for goals (317) and points (682). Marleau is getting better as he gets older; he set a career high with 38 goals in 2008-09, but has already blown past that number this season and become only the third player in Sharks history to reach the 40-goal mark. He should easily surpass 400 goals and could reach 1,000 points before he retires.
Backup: Patrick Flatley (1984-97)
Patrick Kane (Chicago, 2007-present)
Kane is the only "Patrick" to be taken No. 1 in the Entry Draft, in 2007 (though there was a "Patrik" -- Patrik Stefan in 1999), and he's already among the elite Patricks even though he's only in his third season. Kane won the Calder Trophy as a rookie in 2008 (the only Patrick to be so honored), was the youngest member of Team USA at last month's Winter Olympics (and the only American-born player named Patrick ever to win an Olympic medal. That's quite a list of accomplishments for a player who's barely 21 years old.
Backup: Patrick Sharp (Philadelphia/Chicago, 2002-present)
Pat Quinn (Philadelphia/Vancouver/Los Angeles/Toronto/Edmonton, 1979-present)
Pat Burns (Montreal/Boston/Toronto/New Jersey, 1989-2004)
The two Pats have had careers that crossed from the time Burns entered the NHL coaching ranks in 1989. Quinn, who went back behind the bench with Edmonton after spending three seasons on the sidelines, has more wins but has never won a Stanley Cup (he coached two teams to the Final); Burns, who left Toronto two years before Quinn arrived, had his coaching career cut short by cancer but did win a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003.
Lester Patrick (NY Rangers, 1927-46)
Patrick also coached the Rangers to a pair of Cups, but that accomplishment is surpassed by his achievement in building the Rangers from scratch in 1926 into one of the NHL's best teams before World War II. The Patrick-built Rangers won the Cup in 1928, their second season, with "The Silver Fox" going from coach-GM to goaltender in Game 2 of the Final when Lorne Chabot was injured and helping his team win in OT. The Rangers won again in 1933, and captured a third Cup in 1940 after Patrick stepped aside as coach but was still the GM. There is no area of the sport that Patrick didn't affect, and his impact on the game is still felt today.
Backup: Craig Patrick (NY Rangers/Pittsburgh, 1981-2006)