3, not 33

The Canadiens will retire at least one more number during the team’s centennial 2008-’09 season.

Everyone thinks Patrick Roy is a lock.

I respectfully disagree. Roy’s latest goon show in the Q is further evidence that his name does not belong up in the Bell Centre rafters with Canadiens’ immortals such as Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur – and Bob Gainey.

Yes, Patrick Roy was a great goaltender. I’m too young to remember Jacques Plante, but Red Fisher rates him Canadiens best ever. Considering the team Roy had in front of him, though, I’d rank him a shade ahead of Ken Dryden.

Plante’s number 1 and Dryden’s 29 have been retired. So why not 33?

Because the guy who wore it is an embarrassment to hockey.

Look, admission to sports Halls of Fame should be based purely on achievement. You put up the numbers, you’re in.

Pete Rose belongs in Cooperstown. So do Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Retired numbers are different. The roof of the Bell Centre is a Hall of the Hallowed. Every name up there wore his Canadiens’ number with pride and distinction.

They were great athletes – and they were great human beings.

Patrick Roy was a great hockey player. He is a not-so-great human being.

Moreover, as my friend and mentor Mr. Fisher points out, Patrick Roy quit on the Montreal Canadiens.

So let Colorado retire his number.

And on a special night during their centennial season, Canadiens can honour Emile "Butch" Bouchard by retiring number 3.

Want to honour Patrick Roy?

Retire 9-1-1 

 


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