Patrick Roy, the best goaltender in professional hockey the past twenty years, announced his retirement today.
“I’ve had a blast. It’s been unbelievable. I’ve been so fortunate to have lived a dream and have fun for more than 18 years earning a living by playing a game I love,” Roy said, alternately speaking in English and French.
“I will remember the good days and cherish the great moments,” he said. “I’m leaving with the feeling that I’ve done everything I could to be the best.”
The 37-year-old Roy owns nearly every major goaltending record. He is a four-time Stanley Cup champion, winning two each with Colorado and Montreal. He is the only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the playoff MVP, and is the NHL’s career leader in victories with 551 and games played with 1,029.
He also won the Vezina Trophy, given to the league’s best goaltender each year, three times. Both of the goalies currently in the Stanley Cup Finals, Brodeur and Giguere, are French-Canadian, and looked to Roy (pronounced “Wah” for you hockey-ignorant plebeians) as their inspiration for making it in the NHL. With two Cups under his belt already, Brodeur seeks a third, while Giguere hopes to begin his own Cup-winning legacy.
Looking at what he’s accomplished, one could make the argument that, at least as far as the past twenty years is concerned, what Gretzkey was to forwards, Roy was to goaltenders. His performance dimmed slightly these past few years, overshadowed by Brodeur, Belfour, Turco, and others, but they all look to him as the greatest goalie in the modern NHL. I’m just glad I got to see him play.
Au revoir, Patrick. Merci.