MONTREAL - Patrick Roy got a standing ovation that went on more than several minutes at the Bell Centre as the goaltending great had his No. 33 jersey retired by the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Roy, who won two Stanley Cups with the Canadiens between 1984 and 1995, became the 15th Canadiens player to have his jersey retired by hockey's most successful team.
But this may have been the most controversial as Roy parted bitterly with the team, demanding a trade after he was left in goal by then-coach Mario Tremblay for a shellacking by the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 2, 1995.
All that was forgiven as Roy stepped onto a red carpet on the ice, where his parents and his three children were waiting to see the banner with his number raised to the arena ceiling.
"Finally, I'm back home," the Quebec City native said to finish a speech aimed mainly at the fans who gave him many ovations in his 11 stellar seasons with Montreal.
He was introduced by Pierre Lacroix, his former agent who later became general manager of the Colorado Avalanche and made the trade to acquire Roy from the Canadiens. Former coaches Jean Perron, Pat Burns and Jacques Demers also took part, and there were video tributes from stars of his generation Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque and Luc Robitaille.
In 19 NHL seasons, the goaltender who perfected the butterfly style played in a record 1,029 games and set records for regular-season wins (551) and playoff wins (151).
He won four Stanley Cups, two each with Montreal and Colorado, three Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender and three Conn Smythe trophies as MVP of the playoffs.
The 50-minute ceremony had one tense moment, as many fans booed when Roy's son Jonathan went onto the ice. Jonathan Roy was involved in a controversial brawl in the Quebec Major Hockey League last spring in which he pounded Chicoutimi goaltender Bobby Nadeau, who did not fight back.
"I heard it," Jonathan Roy said with a grin. "Me and my brother (Frederic), that's one of our dreams - to get booed at the Bell Centre."