And while I am a huge fan of Patrick Roy (even going as far as naming him as the second greatest Montreal Canadiens player of all time), I think this book is for even more hardcore fans than me.
The book is a biography, written by his father, Michel Roy. Obviously, there will be times that a dad will stand up for his son, but this book goes almost overboard. It never seems as anything is ever Patrick’s fault. Everything has an explanation.
Patrick lost a game? The defence or offence didn’t play well.
Patrick smashed a TV set in a dressing room with the Colorado Avalanche? He was trying to stand up for his team.
Patrick was arrested for a domestic dispute because he tore off a door? The door was newly installed and the work not quite finished, so it was easy to rip off.
At no point was there ever any blame on Patrick. Even when talking about the troubles Patrick had with Mario Tremblay, it seems as if dad would never blame Patrick. But the stories of the troubles Mario and Patrick had did sound like Patrick was in the wrong. Patrick had trouble with authority, it sounds like. There was a rule you weren’t allowed to be in a hotel bar, but Tremblay found him there. There was a rule that athletes who weren’t injured weren’t allowed in the medical clinic. Patrick tore the sign down and went in anyways.
Of course, there were always sound reasons why Patrick did these things, but after a while, it gets a bit tiring of always hearing “It wasn’t Patrick’s fault.”
If you can get past that, it is a good book though. Lots of stories and anecdotes. Filled with quotes from teammates and Patrick.
There were a few more things that bothered me.
• At the beginning of the book, it seems like once a page you will read something like “Patrick wasn’t the greatest goalie ever … yet,” and “Patrick couldn’t lead his teams to a win … yet.” Gets tiring.
• At one point, there is a mention of a goal in the 1986 playoffs, and how the referees wouldn’t go to the video replay. It forgets to mention there were no video replays in 1986.
• A few spelling mistakes here and there, such as Pittsburgh spelled with no ‘h’ on the end. Very distracting, and should have been caught in the editing process.
Despite these problems, the book is fun to read. And there’s lots of details about Patrick’s life (at 500 pages, there would have to be).
The book is a couple of years old now, so there is nothing about his reconciliation with the Canadiens, having his number retired by the Habs or his son getting to a fight on the ice.
If you’re a Habs fan or enjoy hockey books, I recommend reading it. Just keep in mind to take a few of the stories with a grain of salt.