Patrick Roy is one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, and the fact that the Montreal Canadiens selected him 51st overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft has to be one of the best picks ever.
However, it wasn’t obvious that Roy would be a breakout star in the NHL, at least not so early. In the 1984-85 season, Roy played in the QMHJL and AHL for the most part, leading the Sherbrooke Canadiens to a Calder Cup championship.
The following year, the Canadiens’ starting goalkeeper, Steve Penney, was injured in January. Roy went on to play 47 games in the regular season and then won the starting job in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The rest is, as they say, history.
Roy became one of the biggest stars in the NHL over a couple of weeks, leading the Canadiens to an unexpected Stanley Cup.
Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy for the most valuable player in the playoffs, and at only 20 years old, he became the youngest Conn Smythe Trophy winner ever. From then on, Roy was known as St. Patrick, who pulled off a Stanley Cup miracle when no one expected him to.
Roy won four Stanley Cups, and in 2004, he was selected as the greatest goalie in NHL history by a panel of 41 writers and a fan poll.
He’s the only player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe three times, and he’s only behind Martin Brodeur in the all-time wins for goalies, with 551.
Everything started with a little piece of advice from legendary defenseman Larry Robinson.
Decades later, Patrick Roy revealed that when preparing for the 1986 playoffs, Robinson suddenly approached him in the sauna.
The advice he received would turn out to be extremely important.
“When I saw him, I said, ‘He’s not coming in for a sauna; he’s coming in to talk to me,’” Roy said of Robinson. “And he said, ‘Hey, kid, all I’m asking for is no bad goals.’ From the first game, I was not thinking about winning the Stanley Cup; I was thinking no bad goals and having fun.”
The advice helped Roy lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup win, and he carried the advice with him, giving other young stars in the league guidance in their first playoff runs.