Thursday, September 11, 2008

St. Patrick to get his day!

Well they won't be using March 17th, but in Montreal St. Patrick's Day will fall on November 22nd, as the Montreal Canadiens officially retire the number 33 of Patrick Roy.

The retirement ceremony will try to turn back the clock almost thirteen years, an era where Roy led his team to two Stanley Cups and became a hockey icon to the province.

The Roy years came to a much publicized end on December 2nd 1995 when Patrick, having been left in the Montreal nets for nine Detroit Red Wing goals declared his own state of independence.
After glaring at head coach Mario Tremblay for a bit, Roy then walked to Ronald Corey's ice side box and basically advised him that his services would no longer be provided for Les Habitants.

The repercussions of that night bounced throughout the province for many years, sides were taken and the Canadiens a team of myth and legend over the years became more of a soap opera as the province's hockey fans either declared him a traitor or a hero.

The announcement today was heavy on reconciliation and putting the past behind, a long desired wish to have one of Quebec's most recognizable sons return to his original family.

The rapprochement between Roy and the Habs will also no doubt spur on the ever hopeful dream that he may return to the Canadiens in an official capacity, which in the past has appeared to be in the form of trial balloons that he might one day make a good head coach for the Canadiens.

But first things first we guess, for now Hab fans will just be glad that he'll be watching the rouge, blanc et bleu rise to the rafters to join the fourteen others that are currently raised high above the Bell Centre ice.

The celebration of Roy's return comes as part of the Canadiens 100th anniversary festivities, a year long procession of past glories and heroes.
There will however be a few detractors who may feel that providing honours for Roy this year, will be seen as endorsing his current status as a slightly off the page head coach, made famous by last years Junior hockey brawl. An event that still is being debated in hockey circles across the nation.
The Canadiens we would imagine will be quick to focus everyone's attention on the Patrick Roy pre December 5 1995, leaving the debate over his impact over the youth of hockey for other minds and other times.

As Montrealers seem to love their pageantry when it comes to shinny, the November 22nd event will no doubt be one of the hardest tickets in town this year, with a lengthy list of those who would like to attend.
Of course we suspect it may be short a few names of past Canadien legends, just a guess but a few of the principles of that night in December of 1995 which saw the melodrama play out on national television will probably find that they have commitments that they just can't break.
Globe and Mail-- Habs to honour Roy

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