#33 is another in the storied history of the Avalanche franchise. While not arriving with the Avalanche in Denver in ’95, it wasn’t long before the legend of Montreal arrived via a trade that set the foundation for the Avalanche dominance in the next eight years.
Patrick Roy was drafted by Montreal in the 3rd round of 1984 and it wasn’t long before he made an impact at the NHL level, getting his first pro appearance, a win, in February of 1985. He was sent back down to Sherbrooke of the AHL and led his team to the Calder Cup Championship. The next season saw him start 47 games in Montreal, claim the top rookie honors, and win the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup his rookie season. A 10-year career in Montreal saw him appear in the playoffs in 8 of those seasons and entrench himself as one of the top goalies in the league, winning the Vezina three times and adding a second Cup and Conn Smythe along the way. Despite this pedigree, mockery from the home crowd and a late, humiliating hook from then coach Mario Tremblay saw Roy declare his days in Montreal were over in early December of 1995. Four days later he was traded to Colorado with Mike Keane.
His impact in Colorado was immediate, carrying the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in ’96 against the surprising Florida Panthers. You know the story: “No More Rats” = Finals sweep in a thrilling triple-OT Game 4. Along the way, he got the better of Jeremy Roenick and the detroit red wings. Roy’s dominance continued the following seasons in Denver, helping propel the Avs to playoff berths in each of the following seven seasons with all but ’97-’98 and ’02-’03 going past the first round. Blood feuds with the wings, the sell-out streak, President’s Trophy, problems with Dallas in the post-season, etc. Another Cup win in ’00-’01, fueled by rage at the opposing goalie’s wife, secured Roy his 4th championship (Jeremy Roenick still has zero, BTW) and 3rd Conn Smythe.
This elite-level team featured a bevy of talent up and down the lineup, not least of all in the crease. During his time in Colorado, Roy won 262 regular season games with a 0.918 S% and 37 shutouts during the regular season. His ’01-’02 season was especially good with a 0.925 S% , 1.94 GAA to go with 9 shutouts. To go with that, he appeared in 133 playoff games over his 8 seasons in burgundy, amassing 81 wins, 18 shutouts, and sporting a 0.922 S%.
Patrick wrapped up his Avs career after losing game 7 in the first round to a team from somewhere in 2003. He called it a career at that point, and what a career. His Avalanche resume has him as tops in the club’s list of goalies for Save Percentage, Goals Against Average, Games Played, Wins, Shutouts, Assists!, and PIMs. He represented Colorado in 5 All-Star Games and won the Jennings Trophy in ’01-’02. He currently sits at 2nd All-time in the NHL for wins and 3rd for Saves. He holds the NHL record for playoff wins, at 151. He was the first goalie to pass the 1,000 game mark and the first goaltender to 500 total wins. It was no wonder he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, on his first ballot. Both Montreal and Colorado have retired his #33 sweater to the rafters.
There’s no survey for this one because even if somebody else had worn the sweater, there’s only one obvious choice, St. Patrick.