A different angle to the Patrick Roy saga has come to light, thanks to a new CBC interview with former goaltender Mike Vernon.
I first listened to this after Robert Lefebvre has put it up on Facebook, and it really puts a new slant on the night of Dec. 2, 1995 when Patrick let in nine goals against the visiting Red Wings.
Patrick was eventually pulled, he skated to the bench, stormed by coach Mario Tremblay, and told Habs prez Ronald Corey that he’d never play another game for the Canadiens. He was traded to Colorado shortly after.
Everyone blamed Tremblay (and GM Rejean Houle) for sabotaging the goalie, for humiliating him by leaving him in net for far too long. Saint Patrick had been humiliated and not treated with the proper respect. It just wasn’t right.
And then we have the Mike Vernon interview.
For the first time, this has come out. Vernon, who was playing goal for Detroit, says he was sitting in a coffee shop earlier in the day when Patrick, whom he didn’t really know, walked in, sat beside him, and began complaining about the pressure and stress of playing in Montreal. He explained how difficult it was because of the media, fans, and such, and Vernon’s reply was to to tell Patrick that he needed to get out of there. He needed to get traded.
That night, Patrick went out, allowed nine goals, and forced the trade.
It looks like it was his own doing. It seems he may have very well let shots go in that he normally would have stopped. All part of the master plan to get out of Montreal.
The radio interview with Vernon can be heard here Mike Vernon talks about Patrick with the Patrick part somewhere around the eight minute mark.
This is huge news. Patrick tanked to force a trade.