Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about hockey and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the hockey urban legends featured so far.
HOCKEY URBAN LEGEND: Patrick Roy once decided to just take the puck and skate up at the opposing team’s net.
Patrick Roy is a legendary goalie, one of the best in NHL history.
As a rookie in 1986, he led his team, the Montreal Canadiens, to a surprising Stanley Cup victory. Roy won the Conn Smythe Tropy, becoming the youngest player ever to win the award.
He won a second Conn Smythe when the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1993.
In 1996, Roy grew frustrated with the Canadiens (especially after he felt his coach left him in an 11-1 loss just to humiliate him – usually goalies are pulled from games early on if they look like they just don’t have it that particular day) and demanded a trade.
Roy actually grew up a fan of the Quebec Nordiques, so it’s amusing that he was traded not to the Nordiques, but to the Colorado Avalanche, which is the name the Nordiques took after they moved to Colorado in 1995.
He was a star for the team as they won two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. In 2001, Roy won his third Conn Smythe Trophy (the only player to ever win three).
In any event, as established, Roy is a bit of a feisty guy, prone to getting irritated.
So on one Sunday against the New York Rangers in November of 1997, Roy’s feistiness came out in an amusing fashion.
The Avalanche were playing a fairly listless game, and were down 4-1 with just over three minutes left in the final period when the puck was knocked back towards Roy.
Rather than just playing the puck and passing to a teammate, Roy decided to bring the puck up ice!!!
Here he is bringing the puck up…
Up to the blue line…
Past the blue line…
Here, he even does a nice spin move on the Rangers’ Wayne Gretzky!!!
Finally, after he passed the red line, he passed off to a teammate…
However, Roy was then whistled for a penalty.
He was incredulous at the whistle.
Unbeknown to Roy, such behavior is actually specifically prohibited…
28.7 Participating in the Play Over the Center Red Line – If a goalkeeper participates in the play in any manner (intentionally plays the puck or checks an opponent) when he is beyond the center red line, a minor penalty shall be imposed upon him. The position of the puck is the determining factor for the application of this rule.
Still, at the very least, Roy gave everyone at the rink that day an experience they likely wouldn’t forget!
Here’s a YouTube clip of the game (which is where the above stills are from)….
The legend is…
Thanks to lonnieman for the clip!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]