Monday, January 22, 2007

Saint Patrick no more?

Patrick Roy is said to be rethinking his place in Junior hockey, after a weekend incident in which he is alleged to have manhandled a rival Junior hockey executive.

The trouble apparently began when Roy’s Quebec Remparts attempted to leave the home rink of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, but had their path to their team bus blocked by an angry crowd consisting of about fifty local fans and possibly team officials.

The Quebec police are investigating the incident in the Saguenay area of Quebec which took place on Friday night; the incident has become the big story in the overcharged media atmosphere of Quebec, a situation that has the NHL Hall of Famer questioning his place in the junior circuit.

The Quebec icon has stated that he was not involved in any wrongdoing and that he and his team had nothing to apologize for. And the fact that the host team did not provide proper security for the visiting Remparts squad probably does work in Roy’s favour.

Roy is the head coach and co-owner of the Remparts, the defending Memorial cup champions. His tenure in junior hockey has been a rocky one at times, with more than a few feuds heating up between his Remparts and other Q league teams.

Last year there was much made over some potential animosity between Roy and Ted Nolan the coach of the host club Wildcats. And of course Roy is famously known for his public exit from the Montreal Canadiens, when he stared down not only his head coach of the day Mario Tremblay, but owner Ronald Corey as well. It’s a moment that is forever played whenever temperamental hockey players are mentioned.

Ironically, Chicoutimi is the same place that Ted Nolan had his worst moments as a coach in the Q, giving him now something to break the ice with Roy over should their paths ever cross again. If nothing else it seems to show a pattern of less than respectful behvaiour on the behalf of the Northern Quebec community

For the Quebec league it would be rather big hole to fill, should Roy decide to end his affiliation with the team and league. He has been rather generous with his junior squad, making sure that their touring bus is nothing but the best in quality and services, running a top flight franchise in a level of hockey that sometimes likes to scrimp and save at the expense of the players. As well, his name alone is the lure on many a night when the Remparts visit the vast outposts of the Q, many go to the game just to watch one of Quebec’s favourite sons coach behind the bench.

One would think that, depending on the police investigation, the Q will do all that they can to dissuade their fiery lodge member from cashing in his markers and moving on to some other venture.

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