October 25, 2000

Roy's a Bad Boy

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Last spring, when Los Angeles Kings’ defenseman Marty McSorley laid his stick quite famously into the side of Donald Brashear’s face, the hockey world cringed. A blemish on hockey it was called, causing great embarrassment to the game.

This past weekend another incident further blackened the sport’s eye, this time involving Patrick Roy, the NHL’s newly-annointed all-time winningest goaltender.

A quick recap in case you missed it, which is fairly likely since the media paid about as much attention to this story as the Arena Football Championship.

Sunday night, Roy’s wife, Michelle Roy, called 911 but hung up before saying anything. She did so after “St. Patrick” had so frightened her that she feared for her safety. The Avalanche’s goaltender proceeded to get so angry with her that he ripped two doors off their hinges.

What brought all this about? Apparently Patrick was a little upset that Michelle was spending a little too much time talking to her family on the phone.

When police arrived at the couple’s $1.4 million home, they found the doors damaged, which in Colorado constitutes property damage during a domestic dispute and an automatic trip to jail.

Roy hasn’t voiced his opinions publicly about the incident, but his teammates have spoken out on his behalf. Well-respected NHLers Adam Deadmarsh, Ray Borque and Aaron MIller have, according to ESPN.com, jumped to Roy’s defense, calling him a “quality person and a great family man.”

Well, whoop-de-doo.

As bad as McSorely’s slashing incident was, this is ten times worse. There is no excuse for physical violence against one’s wife, especially when your wife stands about 5’3.” Now, Michelle hasn’t said anything about being physically hit, but if you think she wasn’t pretty damn scared when he ripped two doors off the hinges in their bedroom, then you’re fooling yourself.

What makes me angriest is that I have not read one report condemning Roy for his actions. No one from ESPN, no one at the NHL offices, no one on the Avalanche has stood up and said that what Patrick did was wrong. I haven’t even read anywhere that Patrick has stood up and taken the blame for his actions. At least McSorely realized what he did was unacceptable and apologized to Brashear.

This little incident will pass soon enough, and Roy will get off with some community service, and this will all be forgotten.

And that’s just wrong.

I just feel that in this case the NHL needs to stand up and tell Roy he was wrong. Off-ice incident or not, he is a well-respected individual whom numerous youths look up to for inspiration. If he gets out of this with no more than community service, that sends a terrible message to those who idolize him.

In the next few weeks, we will find out how much the greatest goalie ever gets punished for his little outburst. Chances are, despite facing a maximum of a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and even deportation back to Canada, he will get little more than a slap on the wrist. All will be forgotten, and Roy’s legacy as a great goaltender will be all that remains.

Roy rightfully deserves his future place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but for now someone needs to stand up and be a bigger man than Roy was Sunday night.

Archived article by Charles Persons