'When Goalies Were Weird' - Episode 2: Patrick Roy 🎧

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'When Goalies Were Weird' is a six-part narrative podcast about 1990s-era NHL goalies. In the '90s, the position was undergoing a revolution in style and substance, as the butterfly goalie replaced the stand-up while advancements in equipment technology helped usher in a modernized, more athletic playing style. The old guard's quirks and the new guard's innovations melded together to produce an era of pure chaos in the blue paint.

Patrick Roy was the biggest and loudest superstar among 1990s-era goalies. He was the total package - skilled, smart, clutch, innovative, and, of course, cocky. He won four Stanley Cups, two apiece in Montreal and Colorado, while helping popularize the now-ubiquitous butterfly style. This is his story.

To hear the full Patrick Roy episode, click here to listen on:

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(Note: This excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity and length.)

Fast food was Patrick Roy's favorite kind of food as a kid. A burger and fries with a soft drink kept him happy, according to his father Michel, who wrote a book about his son in 2007.

That's pretty standard behavior for a growing boy with a high metabolism, right? Well, these fast food cravings stuck around for the better part of two decades.

Ask a Canadiens player from the mid-to-late 1980s to share a nugget of insight about what Roy was like off the ice and the teammate will default to one snapshot: The goalie scarfing down a container - or casseau - of fries.

"He used to eat at McDonald's all the time, and his diet was horrendous, apparently, in the early going," former NHL tough guy Chris Nilan said.

"It's not like today. You've got a nutritionist, you've got a mental coach, you've got someone to change your diaper for ya. Back then, you were kind of left to your own devices. So he got the nickname 'Casseau' because he always ate French fries. But, you know, uh, yeah, yeah. Who cares! As long as you stop the puck. And he did."

Now, Nilan makes a good point about the elite athlete lifestyle: These days, sporting culture is all-in on optimization, whereas in Roy and Nilan's era, there was a, let's say, laissez-faire approach to nutrition and fitness.

Superstitions, on the other hand, have survived the test of time in hockey.

In that respect, Roy was a beauty; he would grade out extremely high on a superstition test. That unmistakable intensity of his - the deep competitive desire that served as an X-factor - was actually stoked by a set of daily habits.

"He'd have his gear laid out in the dressing room. He always had a puck sitting in front of his gear, and he'd stare at that for, like, forever, man," ex-Canadiens forward Shayne Corson said. "He was so intense, and he wouldn't really notice anything else going on around him. Don't touch his gear and then don't bother him when he's getting prepared for the game. Those eyes of his, he was just, like, piercing. He would just look right through you."

Roy carried this heightened concentration onto the ice, stepping over the blue and red lines. He would also crouch and stare at his net to visualize it as a smaller object.

Roy even became buddies with those red steel pipes. Yep, Roy talked to his goalposts - reportedly in French, though that's beside the point.

"The goalposts are my friends and I thank them for being my friends," Roy said during the 1986 Stanley Cup Final, according to hockey journalist Tom Powers. "They stop the puck for me. They help me. I say thank you very much. I talk to them all the time."

Adam Foote later roomed with Roy for eight years in Colorado. He says their Avalanche teammates made it a tradition to order banana splits from room service the night before games on the road. In general, Foote remembers Roy as an especially interesting dude to share a hotel room with.

"We're all in a hotel in Colorado the night before our first playoff game, and I don't know, he's probably going to kill me if I tell you this, but ..." Foote said with a laugh.

"The old keys open just real quick," Foote continued, "and I go in and Roy's standing on his bed going down to a butterfly. And he's still got his dress pants on and his golf shirt. He jumps off the bed and his hair, the thin long hair at the front, flips. It's like, 'What the hell are you doing?!' He goes, 'Nothing. Nothing, Footer. Just getting ready. Just getting ready.'

"He was so intense, even the night before, so focused, that it kind of said to me, 'Holy crap.' I was giggling but at the same time going, 'Here we go …'"

To hear the full Patrick Roy episode, click here to listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Stitcher
Castbox
Pocket Casts

And be sure to follow the podcast to check out all six episodes of 'When Goalies Were Weird.'

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'When Goalies Were Weird' - Episode 2: Patrick Roy 🎧
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