This was the Letter of the Day in the Edmonton Sun on Sept 9th. And except for the part about the Montreal Canadiens not having self-respect, I pretty well agree with what Mr. Martin has to say. I’m not a big fan of Patrick Roy, and I’ve said before his sweater shouldn’t be hung from the rafters at the Bell Centre.
So I enjoyed this letter.
Here it is, entitled “Sweater Honour A Roy Deal.”
The ineffable Harold Ballard forever alienated Maple Leaf legend and Hall of Famer Dave Keon.
Keon wants his number retired, not just honoured, by the franchise. Call it a grudge, call it principle, but Keon is not going to kowtow to the blue and white.
Conversely, Canadiens hero Patrick Roy tells his organization to scram – skating off in the prime of his career – and yet the fans and management of hockey’s so-called greatest franchise now are down on their knees to St. Patrick, praying that they can have the privilege of retiring his No. 33, as Roy’s Colorado Avalanche has done.
Howie Morenz, Georges Vezina, and the Rocket, Maurice Richard, who all bled the red C, would not be pleased.
This is not about character or off-ice antics. It’s about self-respect. If the Canadiens retire No. 33 they will have shown they do not have any. It will be truly pathetic.
All the greatest players have understood that the game is bigger than them, and the Montreal Canadiens, with their rich history, are surely bigger than one man.
Imagine No.33 being raised to the rafters as Roy receives a standing ovation – a man who turned his back on the uniform and his fans in their most dire need. With heroes like Roy, who needs villains?