Friday, September 19, 2008

Roy Returns To Montreal On Friendly, Not Fractious, Terms

Quebec Remparts coach Patrick Roy waves to the crowd as he his warmly welcomed before the game against the Montreal Junior in QMJHL action at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec city September 12, 2008. Photograph by : Francis Vachon for Montreal Gazette

From The Ottawa Citizen:

MONTREAL - The homecoming would have been a whole lot more dramatic had the Montreal Canadiens not announced a week ago they would hoist his jersey up to the immortal Bell Centre rafters.

But former Canadiens star Patrick Roy officially returns to Montreal Saturday in a professional capacity as head coach of the Quebec Remparts.

It's an extra added attraction to what already should be an exciting night for the Montreal Juniors, the city's new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise, which plays its inaugural home game at the refurbished Verdun Auditorium.

Right now, rightly or wrongly, Roy is the star of the league. He'll be the biggest deal in the arena, hands down, the man on whom all eyes will be focused.

Ten days ago, the reaction to the 42-year-old Roy - a charismatic, but polarizing icon in this city - when he took his spot behind the visitors' bench would have been mixed. But the Sept. 11 announcement by the Canadiens that the former goaltender's jersey would be retired turned into a love fest, a turn of events that surprised even the man himself.

"Things turned around," Roy said this week. "I expected opinion to be more divided. But I really loved it. It was a really great day. It was a real trip."

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