Patrick Roy was special. He’s one of the greatest who ever stepped on the ice, but he wasn’t known for his heroic shot-stopping. Roy was also known for having a hot temper, and he would do almost anything to win a hockey game.
Even when he was older, Roy never stopped trying to get better, and his work ethic, even in practice, is basically unheard of.
Roy was also special when it came to his principles. No one was allowed to mess with–or even touch– his gear, and if a coach wronged him, he would make sure to let them know.
Once, he even smashed his coach’s office, even though his team had won.
In a game in December 1998 against the Anaheim Ducks, the Avs were on a power play with just a few minutes to go. The score was tied, and they needed a goal, but their first power-play lineup was tired. They needed more time, so first-year coach Bob Hartley decided to pull Roy from the game.
He inserted Craig Billington in his place, and the power-play resumed, and the Avs went on to score. It was the decisive goal, and the Avalanche won without Billington even needing to make one save.
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But because Billington was in the net when the Avs scored the game-winning goal, he got credit for the win. Roy, who had made every Avalanche save in the game, didn’t get his well-deserved victory.
Everyone on the Avalanche team was thrilled—all but one. Patrick Roy was furious and immediately went to the coach’s office after the game. Roy walked in with his goalie stick in hand and confronted Hartley about his choice.
Hartley wanted to talk about it the following morning, but Roy disagreed. In a complete rage, he took his stick and smashed a TV and a VCR that was in the room.
He didn’t care that the Avalanche won. He felt humiliated.
Two weeks later, the story broke in Colorado, and the same day it was printed, Colorado just so happened to play against the Montreal Canadiens, Roy’s former team. It was a coincidence, but it took time for Roy to get over what he thought was a conspiracy against him. His winning mentality sometimes caused problems, but it also gave him four Stanley Cup Rings.
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