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Habs to retire Roy's No. 33

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – The Canadiens will honor one of the greatest players in team history during the 2008-09 season by retiring the jersey of goaltender Patrick Roy (No. 33).
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This initiative began in 2005-06, with the team retiring Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer’s No.12 and Bernard Geoffrion’s No.5 as part of the process leading up to the Canadiens’ Centennial. In 2006-07, two other legendary Canadiens received a similar tribute when the jerseys of Serge Savard (No. 18) and Ken Dryden (No. 29) were raised to the Bell Centre rafters. Last season, Larry Robinson (No. 19) and Bob Gainey (No. 23) were bestowed with the same honor.

The jersey retiring ceremony in honor of Patrick Roy will take place prior to the game on Saturday, November 22, 2008 when the Canadiens will host the Boston Bruins.

In their history, the Canadiens have retired the jerseys of 14 of its greatest players, more than any other NHL team.

Howie Morenz No. 7 November 2, 1937
Maurice Richard No. 9 October 6, 1960
Jean Beliveau No. 4 October 9, 1971
Henri Richard No. 16 December 10, 1975
Guy Lafleur No. 10 February 16, 1985
Doug Harvey No. 2 October 26, 1985
Jacques Plante No. 1 October 7, 1995
Dickie Moore No. 12 November 12, 2005
Yvan Cournoyer No. 12 November 12, 2005
Bernard Geoffrion No. 5 March 11, 2006
Serge Savard No. 18 November 18, 2006
Ken Dryden No. 29 January 29, 2007
Larry Robinson No. 19 November 19, 2007
Bob Gainey No. 23 February 23, 2008

Patrick Roy

A native of Ste-Foy, Québec, Patrick Roy was destined to a career in sports. To start with he had great bloodlines. His mother Barbara was a nationally ranked synchronized swimmer while his father Michel was an accomplished tennis player. From his grandfather Bona Arsenault, a politician, historian and a recipient of the Order of Canada, he inherited the temper and the presence typical of a public figure.  

Patrick Roy will show at an early age that perseverance is perhaps one of his best assets and certainly a quality that will serve him well throughout his career. At age 15 he was cut from the major midget team and was forced to play house league hockey in Ste-Foy. That did not deter him and the following season he not only made the team but led the Ste-Foy Gouverneurs in 1981-1982 losing only three of the 41 games he played. A second round pick in the 1981 QMJHL draft, he will spend three seasons with the Granby Bisons minding the net for 159 games often facing over 50 shots per game. In 1984, after playing in 61 games, posting a record of 29 wins and 29 losses with a young Granby team he realized a longtime dream when he became the Canadiens 4th pick (51st overall) in the NHL Entry Draft.

The 1984-85 season would be a turning point in Roy’s early professional career. Once the Bisons’ season over, Roy was invited to join the Canadiens and get acquainted with what the NHL was all about. On March 14, with the Winnipeg Jets visiting the Forum, Roy was thrown in the game for the third period and did not allow a goal on two shots. He would then be sent to the Canadiens farm team in Sherbrooke where he would win ten games and take the Canadiens affiliate to the Calder Cup as the American Hockey League champions.   

If the 1984-85 season provided a glimpse of Roy’s talent, 1985-86 would be a stepping stone to greatness for the butterfly netminder with the odd habit of talking to his goalposts. In his first full year with the Canadiens Roy would win 23 of the 47 games he played in, but the playoffs would see him bewilder the Boston Bruins, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. Roy pulled out a few rabbits out of his hat with a few magic displays of his own on his way to the Canadiens 23rd Stanley Cup and the first of three Conn Smythe trophies. At only 20 years of age he was already a model for all minor hockey goaltenders in Quebec.

A hero after the 1986 Stanley Cup title, Roy would turn into a living legend following his miracles in the 1993 playoffs once again winning the Stanley Cup and earning his second Conn Smythe award. With Roy’s dazzling performances in goal and the Canadiens timely goal scoring, the team wins ten straight overtime games to set an NHL record on their way to Cup No. 24.

After 11 seasons in Montreal, Roy would become a member of the Colorado Avalanche and led that franchise to two Stanley Cups earning a remarkable third Conn Smythe award in 2001. At the time of announcing he was ending his playing career back on May 28, 2003, Roy held several team and NHL records that would never be equaled while others will simply be out of reach for many years to come.  

Patrick Roy backstopped his way into Canadiens record book putting up truly amazing stats including most regular season and playoff career games combined (665), as well as regular season and playoff games combined in a single season (82). He also recorded the longest unbeaten streak at home (29) and the longest winning streak on home ice (14). Roy’s playoff achievements are so compelling that he owns or shares the team record in many different categories.

At the end of a glorious 18-year NHL career Roy finds himself at the top of a host of records including most regular season wins (551), most games played (1,029) most minutes played (60,227), most shots against (28,353) and most saves (25,807). His playoff achievements are equally stellar with an NHL-leading 247 games played, 15,209 minutes played, shutouts (23), wins (151) and a share of the record of 11 consecutive wins in the same playoff year.

Patrick Roy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2006.
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