Revisiting ‘Le Trade’ as Avalanche head coach Pat Roy returns to Montreal

Patrick Roy as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Patrick Roy as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

“Le Trade” is what they call it in Montreal. On December 2nd, 1995, two-time Cup winning Hab Patrick Roy pulled himself from a game against the Detroit Red Wings, walked up to club president Ronald Corey, and said, “It’s my last game in Montreal.” One of the most amazing things about this legendary moment in NHL history is that you can actually watch it happen. Yeah, back then there was no glass behind the home team bench at the old Montreal Forum. The team president sat first row, perfectly situated to take an earful from a frustrated Roy before he had time to settle down and collect his thoughts. Here is the video:

 

 

There are so many story-lines here. The best one – the Red Wings lit up Roy for 9 goals before he exited the game. Less than 48 hours later number 33 was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs eliminated the Wings from the playoffs a few months later in what is considered one of the most legendary series of the 90’s. Patrick Roy was incredible, posting one shutout, and a dominant 4-1 winning performance in the decisive Game 6 victory that knocked Detroit out of the playoffs.

Former Habs coach Scotty Bowman was the coach of the Wings at the time. There are many great quotes pertaining to the Roy trade from Bowman, as well as, other members of the Red Wings organization. Here are some of those quotes, courtesy of The National Post:

“I knew he’d be going somewhere but I was just hoping it wouldn’t be Colorado.” – Scotty Bowman.

“Had we known they were going to dump him in Colorado we might have started a bidding war to avoid that.” – Jimmy Devellano, senior Wings executive.

“Scotty [Bowman] and I were really upset about him going to Colorado. I wish we had never lit him up that night and that he’d remained in Montreal.” – Devellano.

At his Hall of Fame induction in 2006, Roy spoke up about the trade, telling press, “at the time it was clear to me that they were trading me to Detroit, Toronto, Chicago or Colorado.”

In the end, the Avalanche got Roy, and two Cups later, the rest is history.

Read full article by The National Post here

Roy makes his first appearance against the Canadiens as a National Hockey League head coach tomorrow night in Denver.