Skip to main content

Roy's Habs' No. 33 to be retired Nov. 22

by John McGourty
Patrick Roy, the winningest goaltender in NHL history, will have his Montreal Canadiens No. 33 retired by the team in a ceremony Nov. 22 at the Bell Centre, the team announced Thursday.

The event is one of many planned during the Canadiens' centennial season. Other major events scheduled for Montreal during the next 12 months include the NHL All-Star Game at the Bell Centre on Jan. 25, 2009, and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on June 26, 2009.

Roy was joined at the Bell Centre press conference by Canadiens owner George Gillet and team president Pierre Boivin.

"Since I retired, people came to ask me if I thought the Canadiens would retire my jersey," Roy said. "When I got the call from Mr. Gillet I was very honored. My first thoughts were for the guys who played with me."

Roy was instrumental in embellishing the Canadiens' illustrious record. He led them to the Stanley Cup in 1986, his rookie season, and again in 1993, against the Wayne Gretzky-led Los Angeles Kings. Roy earned the Conn Smythe Trophy both times as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Roy also won Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, after the Canadiens traded him to the Colorado Avalanche, along with Mike Keane, for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky
and Jocelyn Thibault, on Dec. 6, 1995. Roy also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2001, making him the only player in NHL history to win the award three times.

"Since I retired, people came to ask me if I thought the Canadiens would retire my jersey. When I got the call from Mr. Gillet I was very honored. My first thoughts were for the guys who played with me.”

-- Patrick Roy

Roy had a career record of 551-315-131 in 1,029 NHL games during 19 seasons. He played his first 11 seasons for the Canadiens after they used their third-round pick (No. 51) to select him in the 1984 Entry Draft.

Roy had a record of 151-94 in 247 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He had a career 2.54 goals-against average during regular-season play and a 2.30 GAA in the postseason.

Roy won the Vezina Trophy three times and the William M. Jennings Trophy five times, including four times with the Canadiens. He was named to the NHL First All-Star Team four times and to the Second Team twice. He played in 11 NHL All-Star Games.

He will become the 15th player in team history to have his sweater retired.

Roy is the second-winningest goalie in Canadiens' history. Only Jacques Plante, with 314 victories as a Canadien, won more games than the 289 wins Roy had. Roy's .608 winning percentage with Montreal ranks ninth among Canadiens goalie who played in 100 or more games, behind Ken Dryden, Michel "Bunny" Laroque, Plante, Lorne "Gump" Worsley, Rick Walmsley, Rogie Vachon, Bill Durnan and George Hainsworth.

His professional career got off to an interesting start. Roy played his third and final season with the Granby Bisons of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was called up for one game, on Feb. 23, 1985, and got the win in relief of Doug Soetart. The Canadiens then sent him to the Sherbrooke Canadiens of the American Hockey League.

Roy won his only regular-season AHL game, and then became Sherbrooke's starter in the playoffs and led them to the Calder Cup. Thus, he won championships in his first two pro seasons.

There had been doubt whether the Canadiens would honor Roy in this manner. His Canadiens career came to a bitter end with his trade that followed an on-ice tirade against coach Mario Tremblay and team president Ron Corey, who was sitting behind the Habs' bench. Roy vowed to never play again for the Canadiens and soon was traded.

There had been rumors over the past few years that Roy had been approached and turned down requests for a retirement ceremony. He made it clear Thursday that Boivin and Gillet both addressed that issue with him and had honored his service in Montreal.

"It's a great day, obviously, a great day for me," Roy said. "I had a chance to have dinner with Mr. Boivin and (General Manager) Mr. (Bob) Gainey and realized how hard Mr. Boivin was working to keep us a great family. He asked me if I was ready. It's time for me to move on and I hope it's the same for everybody."

At one point in the press conference, Roy turned to look at Boivin and said, "I'd like to thank you very much."

Gillet, a resident of Colorado, said he had rinkside seats behind the net in Denver's Pepsi Center for many years and would watch Roy pile ice shavings against the goalposts to slow down shots and wraparounds until the NHL took notice and began cleaning the ice during timeouts. He said that decision has been called "the Patrick Roy rule." Both men grinned at the memory.

Gillet said he got to know Roy when he attempted to buy the Avalanche prior to purchasing the Canadiens. Bringing Roy back into the Canadiens' fold was one of his goals, he said.

Roy retired from the NHL on May 28, 2003, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 13, 2006.

Roy currently is the owner, general manager and coach of the Quebec Remparts. He held those jobs when the Remparts won the Memorial Cup in 2006.
View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.