Patrick Roy is a former NHL goaltender who played 19 seasons in the league from 1985 to 2003. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalies to ever play the game.
Roy played eleven seasons for the Montreal Canadiens and eight for the Colorado Avalanche, winning two Stanley Cups with each team.
Patrick Roy’s professional hockey career began when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 3rd round, 51st overall, in the 1984 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 1985 and played his first full NHL season in 1985-86. He started off as the backup but earned the starting job over the course of the regular season. Roy emerged as a star in the playoffs, leading the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup victory and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He is still the youngest Conn Smythe winner in NHL history, winning it at 20 years old.
Roy continued to be a dominant goaltender for the Canadiens throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. He won multiple awards, including the Vezina Trophy three times as the league’s best goaltender. In 1993, he led the Montreal Canadiens to another Stanley Cup victory and once again won the Conn Smythe.
Roy’s career with the Canadiens came to an end in 1995, in part due to an extremely strained relationship with new Canadiens coach Mario Tremblay. During one game in December of 1995, Tremblay left Roy in for nine goals in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. When Roy was finally pulled out of the game, he skated over to Canadiens President Ronald Corey (who was sitting in the front row of the stands behind the bench) and told him “It’s my last game in Montreal.” Four days later, Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.
Roy immediately found success in Colorado, leading the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup victory in franchise history in 1996. He continued to be one of the best goaltenders in the NHL throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. He would lead Colorado to another Stanley Cup victory in 2001, winning the Conn Smythe for the 3rd time in his career.
Roy finished his career with Colorado. He retired after the 2002-03 season when the Avalanche lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Minnesota Wild.
Records and Awards
Patrick Roy holds a few NHL records including most playoff wins by a goaltender (151), most playoff games played by a goaltender (247), and most Conn Smythe Trophy wins (3).
Roy won numerous awards throughout his NHL career, many of them multiple times. Here are the most notable:
- Stanley Cup four times: two with Montreal (1986, 1993) and two with Colorado (1996, 2001)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) three times (1986, 1993, 2001)
- Vezina Trophy (League’s Best Goaltender) three times (1989, 1990, 1992)
- Jennings Trophy (Best Goals Against Average) five times (1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2002)
Patrick Roy leaves behind a legacy as one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. His #33 is retired by both the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, in his first year of eligibility. He won over 500 regular-season games in his NHL career and another 151 in the playoffs. He is tied for third in all-time Stanley Cup wins among goaltenders in the expansion era (1967-present) with four.
Roy is also credited with making the butterfly style of goaltending popular. The butterfly is now the most widely used style of goaltending around the world. Using the butterfly, goaltenders stay low, on their knees with their pads extended, and take away the bottom of the net. This forces shooters to shoot up high and takes a large majority of the net away from players to shoot at.