MONTREAL – Patrick Roy will have his No. 33 retired by the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 22 before the team’s game against the Boston Bruins.
Roy, who earlier had his number retired by Colorado, is the NHL’s only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“It’s a great day, it’s a great honor to have the chance to come back with the organization and the family of the Montreal Canadiens,” Roy said Thursday. “I think when you talk about the Canadiens, you have to put the word family in front of it.”
A fiery competitor, Roy parted ways with the team on bad terms during the 1995-96 season, forcing a trade after he was left in goal by head coach and former teammate Mario Tremblay during a blowout loss to Detroit on Dec. 2.
During Wednesday’s news conference at the Bell Centre, Roy welcomed the opportunity to turn the page on the events that brought about the trade, and hopes the team’s fans will do the same.
“It was more difficult than people might think to leave Montreal,” Roy said. “Yes, I would have liked to leave on a different note but there is nothing you can do today and the message that I want to send is it’s time for me to move on, and I hope it is the same for them.”
A four-time Stanley Cup winner, Roy led the Canadiens to his first title as a 20-year-old rookie in 1986. He won his second Cup and second Conn Smythe Trophy in 1993 as Montreal won a record 10 straight overtime games in the playoffs.
“I always have been proud of my 10 years in Montreal,” said Roy, who starred in goal for the Canadiens from 1985 to 1995. “I learned a lot. This is where I learnt to be a winner.”
Big Brown races Saturday
For trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., every day presents a new challenge with Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion Big Brown.
“It’s not like every time you wake up in the morning, Big Brown is ready to roll,” he said. “I mean, you got issues there. He’s got probably five or six quarter cracks since I’ve had him.”
With an eye toward having the nation’s premier 3-year-old as fit and ready as possible for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Big Brown will return to his roots by running on turf in the Monmouth Stakes on Saturday at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park.
Dutrow sees many advantages to the decision.
Foremost among those is the large amount of time it gives him to prepare for the Oct. 25 Classic, which will be contested for the first time on a synthetic surface at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.
“I understand a whole lot more when we get to do it like that,” he said of the interval between races. “I’d love it if I could train every one of my horses that way, every one of them coming up to big races five or six weeks (away) is what I like.”