For Mike, The TV Won’t Be On That Channel On Patrick Roy’s Big Night

There’s a brand new and highly-anticipated book about Patrick Roy, written by his father Michel, on the market now, with all the details at Joe Pelletier’s site, but I know one person who probably doesn’t feel like reading it right now.


And when Patrick Roy has his sweater raised to the rafters at the Bell Centre on November 22nd, this person’s television in Pickering, Ontario won’t be tuned in either.


Mike, who has bled Canadiens colours for five decades, says he won’t watch the game that night. He doesn’t agree with what will happen, and he’s angry. Because for him, wearing the Montreal Canadiens sweater comes with a clause. A clause that says it’s an honour to wear it.


For Mike, it’s all about that infamous night on Dec. 2, 1995 when Roy allowed nine goals against Detroit, and when he wasn’t yanked by coach Mario Tremblay, skated to the Montreal bench, walked over to president Ronald Corey, and declared that he’d never play another game with the Habs.


This didn’t sit well with Mike. He’s a fan who believes wearing the sweater is so much more than about bad games, or embarrassment, or even big personal numbers. It’s about wearing the sweater, and that’s it.


And so he said recently on this site that he won’t be watching that night when Roy has the sweater go up, and I asked him why, exactly.


All he said was just go back to recent comments from him, and so I did.


“To walk out on a team as he did precludes him from any honours,” he explained. “Roy thought he was bigger than the team, even dictating when he would practice or not. Mario Tremblay had the CH tattooed on his behind, and came from an era that cherished the right and honour to be a Canadien.


“The previous players who’ve been honoured were true Montreal Canadiens, not this self-serving ego tripper.”


For me personally, it’s also hard to understand how a player can simply quit like Roy did. And maybe Mario Tremblay was completely wrong to leave him in that night like he did. But I believe Roy should’ve just sucked it up, played harder in future games, and taught Tremblay through his actions on the ice that you don’t embarrass the star goalie like that.


Roy shouldn’t have quit on his teammates and Tremblay shouldn’t have done what he did. He and Tremblay had had a volatile relationship from the beginning, with both making jokes about the other’s ability to speak English, and Roy disagreeing often on how Tremblay handled other players.


So there was a personality conflict, and I suppose fireworks were bound to happen.


The younger generation supports Roy completely through all of this. I’ve seen this by comments on this site in previous Roy stories. They believe Roy almost single handedly won both Stanley Cups for the team in 1986 and 1993. They believe his numbers outweigh everything else. They get very upset and angry. And that’s good.


They’ll be watching, and they’ll be buying the book.


But every side has their story, and Mike’s stance is clear and has its own validity.


This is a guy who watches his Habs faithfully and loyally, in every game throughout the season, and has for years. He wears his Montreal sweater, cheers loudly, drinks his beer from his Canadiens beer mug, still worships Jean Beliveau, and lives and dies with each win and loss.


But that night he won’t be watching. Or reading the book either.



9 thoughts on “For Mike, The TV Won’t Be On That Channel On Patrick Roy’s Big Night”

  1. I’m no Hab fan, that much is clear. With that in mind, here’s my daily diatribe.

    I think SOME Hab fans need to get over their seething, and appreciate Roy’s accomplishments. Life is not fair, we all know that; so if there’s an element of unfairness in recognizing a very good player, you have to get over it.

    Linden’s #16 going to the rafters is a case in point. There are those Hab fans who say his numbers haven’t earned him the right to have his jersey hoisted. Says who? The reason Linden’s is being hoisted is due to the intangibles, the opposite is the case with Roy, his is being hoisted for his numbers. Life ain’t fair for those who see the world in black and white. Glory in the gray!

  2. One could argue that the Canadiens organization gave up on Patrick Roy. One would think that after all he had done for the franchise he might deserve a little more respect than he was shown that fateful night against Detroit.

  3. Of course Mario Tremblay didn’t show respect. We know this. That isn’t even an argument. And how did the Canadiens give up on him? Mario kept him in the nets, and Patrick quit the team. The organization didn’t have anything to do with it. It was between two people. And if you’re suggesting the team should have let Mario go and keep Patrick, that’s not the way it went down. Patrick quit before the team knew about it. So I don’t get your argument.

  4. Mario Tremblay gave it all as a Habs wearing the CH on his jersey for almost 12 years starting as a 18 year old rookie in 1974!
    I was only 9 years old when he was a rookie and looked up to him with his grit and character on the team! He had everything going for him when he played for Montreal, looks (so my older sisters tell me), playing hard game in and out, and a team leader willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn from him.
    Well he brought this as a coach of the Habs and he got the shaft when Patrick Roy got traded to Colorado.
    My philosophy if I were a coach would be ” I coach, you play” attitude to the players.
    This is what Mario tried to preach to Patrick but being the star that he was, he got breaks more than the other hard working players on our team when Jacques Demers was the coach.
    Sorry, this other “Mikey” will not be watching the retirement jersey night as well. I stand pat as well as other Habs fans.
    Let the “Pepsi Generation” fans born after 1970 have their glory that night and watch their “God” Patrick have his jersey lifted high in the rafters.
    I will be sad knowing that players like Joliat, Lalonde, Durnan, Lapointe, Ironman Jarvis, etc.. deserve the honour more than Patrick.

  5. Sorry, Lawrence, but as diatribes go, that was weak. (Hehe, I bet your wife luuuvs it when you get going!) But I think you are bang on about your comments re `intangibles’. They are absolutely essential in the make-up of `greatness’ in any player/any person albeit they can only be known indirectly through actions – that are all to often subject to distortion and misrepresentation – and over time. And therein lies a huge gap between Roy and the true Hab Greats which gap Mikey rightly respects.

    As for TL, Habbers are interested in him because he did play for us (I think …hehe) but, naw, we don’t care one way or another what the CANUCKS do with his sweater – lesser teams (and players) interest us only to the extent that their talents and skills and accomplishments highlight our, hehehe, Greatness. Does TL deserve to have his sweater retired? Perhaps. Myself, being a life-long Habber, I find that other teams’ standards are somewhat less than high but it’s not for me to decide what criteria they use to decide matters such as sweater retirement rather this decision is for his club and his fans to make. Personally, I like the idea of a St. Trevor duh Linden day when the entire city shuts down and boats, floats, paddles, swims out to a disignated site and solemnly sink a uniformed effigy of him in memory of all the things he, hehe, didn’t accomplish for the Canucks.

    p.s. Yes, I believe that TL is in possession of a respectable set of `intangibles’: he is a fine person, a good man, thoughtful and kind and compassionate; he was a solid NHLer, hard-working, gritty, intense, passionate, honest. However, in his case, his `hockey’ achievements do not balance his personal assets. Interestingly, as you point out, the opposite appears to be true of Roy. Mind you, I don’t believe that Roy, as a Hab, accomplished enough to warrant having his sweater retired nevermind the `absence’ of crucial `intangibles’ that TL possesses in abundance.

    And, again, you are right about the world not being fair but this is true for us all not just those who embrace absolutes.

  6. It’s hard to say Dennis that the organization didn’t have anything to do with it, when the president of the team is sitting right behind the bench. Regardless, here’s what should have happened. Patrick sould have been suspended by the team giving him a week or two away and giving all parties a chance to rationally solve the situation. Instead the Canadiens organization panicked and shipped him out days later. Personally, if the situation couldn’t have been resolved, then you sit on him, make him wait, make him suffer, all the while waiting for the best deal from another team. The Canadiens organization did none of this, they panicked, and in the process handed Colorado the Stanley Cup in 1996.

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