Patrick Had It Planned?

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.



28 thoughts on “Patrick Had It Planned?”

  1. Forcing a trade is one thing, but throwing the coach under the bus is another. And if that is the case, someone owes someone an apology for that.

  2. It’s huge, Ian. If it’s true, Patrick engineered the whole thing and let the blame fall on Tremblay and Houle.Vernon says it’s the first time he’s ever talked about this.It’s quite shocking, but it’s Patrick, and I’m believing Vernon.

  3. He was probably just unhappy and the 9 goals were just the straw that broke the camels back. The catalyst to take action. Probably no grand conspiracy.

  4. I don’t know why Vernon would lie about something like this, that’s for sure. Still, Tremblay left Roy in there to the detriment of his team. Blame can still be assigned everywhere.

  5. Good point, Ian. Maybe things were said prior to the opening faceoff. Maybe Roy had it embedded in his head already after talking to Vernon and the whole night, from start to finish, was a complete disaster. It just seems like Vernon put the bug in his ear and that was that.

  6. I think that Vernon’s comments put the seed of thought in Roy’s head, and that’s all. He didn’t conspire to allow nine goals, it’s just not in Roy’s character. We have to remember 3 particular things about that game. First, captain Damphousse slept in until 6:15 before gametime, and Tremblay, breaking a team rule, let him play anyway. Second, Brisebois took a 5 minute boarding major at the end of the first, and Detroit scored 3 times. Lastly, Tremblay’s feud with Bowman, whom he hated. Mario words about Scotty were in the paper the day before. When Bowman read them, he reacted by playing little other than the Yzerman and Fedorov lines for most of the first 30 minutes.

    In other words, a lot of other things were going on in that game. Placing blame squarely on Roy is wrong. I didn’t like his reaction at all, but I’ve always understood. Still do, and still blame Ronald Corey most.

  7. Robert, a lot of people were to blame, but I’ve never truly forgiven Patrick for quitting the team like that and I differ from you in that I’ve never understood. Yes, he was left in for far too long in that game, but I think it’s very possible he took a lackadaisical approach because he was unhappy with a lot of people. I think he said a year or two ago that he regretted overreacting like he did by going to Corey. If he would have simply slept on it, he might never have left.

  8. Hey Dennis, I saw my first and only game in the Forum in Feb. of 95,the Flyers were in town and Patrick was playing goal that nite, final score 7-0 for Philadelphia. I can believe allowing 9 goals in, conspiracy or not he didn’t look very good either way.

  9. Geez Derry, what a lousy game to be at. I’ve been at a few over the years where the Canadiens got blown and it sucks. All the fun and anticipation out the window.

  10. Just to be clear, I understand the things that led to Patrick becoming fed up of Montreal, but I do not in any way condone his actions during that game.

    For a long time, I did not understand Mario hanging him out to try like he did, but Tremblay later explained in his book, that in his mind, he still felt that during a portion of the game, they had a chance to win. He also did not want to give Bowman the satisfaction of pulling Roy. I get that – Tremblay, as we all saw when he played, was just as fierce a competitor as Patrick was.

    But alas, two roosters in the henhouse is never a good thing!

  11. Holy smokes and WOW. Now we know the rest of the story. If Roy really did let in nine goals intentionally as part of a plan to get traded and blamed it on Mario Tremblay on top of it all, it shows he is a huge egomaniac and a man of little character.

  12. What a day for revelations. First it comes out that Bourque has been fighting concussion symptoms since last year (and this is why he’s not playing well now) and now this.

    If this is legit, holy cow. I’m floored. I honestly was pissed off with Patrick quitting the team like that but if this is true, it’s downright insulting.

    I’d say that if this is true, his jersey should come down. I equate this as spitting on the Habs. Says a lot about him.

  13. DK, you already know my thoughts about him & this, if true is another reason his # should not be up with our former greats!!

  14. Hey Darth. The interviewers (Friedman and the other guy) were quite floored as well. It was all politics and leaves a lingering taste.

  15. With the egos involved I can believe it. Imagine before the game Roy says he’s fatigued and wants a night off. Tremblay says tough, you’re playing. Roy says he doesn’t think he’ll play well. Tremblay says tough, you’re playing. And once the goals start going in, it becomes a battle of wills and who would blink first.

  16. The Roy-Tremblay saga goes right back to his rookie days, they did not get along.

    Robert points out some good things from Tremblay’s book (something I have to get , even though it’s in French) and it would seem he took it personal against Bowman and let that guide his judgment. I doubt Roy would tank. I’d have to pull out his dad’s book to see if it’s mentioned.

    Derry: Some Habs castoff named John LeClair had a hat trick that night for the Flyers, after a scoreless first period.

  17. Hi Kevin. Maybe he didn’t tank for all nine goals. Maybe after four or five he did. It’s just very curious that after talking to Vernon he decided to quit the team. All parties are guilty in this nasty business. I just feel if he would’ve slept on it, things would have been drastically different. And we didn’t exactly get superstars in return on that deal. I was so disappointed in Houle’s decisions.

  18. What a revelation eh. I somehow remember hearing a story that Roy’s agent had connections to the Av’s so that could also add to the mix and the speed with which the trade happened. As a real Habs fan I have never forgiven him for bailing on our team and am thankful he was not named our coach. As for his jersey coming down it’s not up to me and I refuse to acknowledge it so whatever happens it’s on someone else’s shoulders. I would never expect Roy to admit or even consider this anything but a lie. I expect his response to be like that of A-Rod’s so get ready for a side show next time he is in town or HNIC interviews him about this. As an aside will you be at game Saturday nite if so I would enjoy meeting you if possible.

  19. Dra58 – Roy’s former agent Pierre Lacroix was the Avs GM when the trade was made.

    Roy’s #33 will come down from the roof right after they take away his two Conn Smythes and they twice remove the Canadiens name from the Cup.

  20. Dra58, it would’ve been great to meet you but I’ll be in Ottawa visiting two brothers and sister. Another time for sure.

  21. Dennis, Rejean Foule was just one of many horrible GM’s the Habs have had over the past two decades.

  22. He still works for the Habs. When Dave Stubbs was talking to me about the owner of the jacket, Roy Faubert, he said he was going to phone Rejean to see if he had any info on him.

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