QUEBEC – Few people will likely challenge Michel Roy on the accuracy of his new book about hockey legend Patrick Roy.
After all, Michel Roy is his father.
And, like any good dad, Michel Roy is standing up for his son with “Le Guerrier,” which translates into English as “The Warrior.”
Michel Roy says the French-language book – there are no immediate plans for an English version – is aimed at correcting the public perception of Patrick Roy’s life and career.
“I wanted to present Patrick as he is,” Michel Roy said at the book’s launch on Tuesday. “I think that the image that people often have of Patrick is not the real picture of Patrick. He’s not like that.”
Patrick Roy grabbed headlines for his fits of temper while playing for the Montreal Canadiens, including in 1995 when he brushed past the coach during a game and told the general manager he wanted to be traded.
There were other allegations that he once trashed his own house and had a physical altercation with an official of another team when Roy was coaching the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He is still coach and part owner of the team.
Michel Roy says some of the more controversial moments in the life of the goalie, who tended nets for the Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche, have lacked some necessary nuances when reported.
“Events were reported without being properly researched or else people wanted to be a little sensationalistic,” Roy said.
“I wanted to defend the truth,” said Roy, who hopes the book will become a reference tool for those studying his son.
Patrick Roy was all smiles at the launch.
“I didn’t hide anything from my father,” he said. “There is not much that has not been revealed in the media during my career.
“I think people will enjoy reading the anecdotes, which are presented in more detail than they were originally.”
Roy retired in 2003 after an outstanding 19-year career that saw him win two Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and another two with the Avalanche after his trade from Montreal.
He also collected a raft of individual awards in winning 551 regular-season games and another 151 in post-season action.
Patrick Roy acknowledged he has not been eager in the past to co-operate with biographers and has turned down many other offers.
He finally agreed to a request by his father, who was a deputy minister of communications before dedicating himself to writing.
“I knew it would be done well and maybe be used for youths,” the junior Roy said.
Michel Roy said his book is not so much a recounting of hockey history as it is the story of a young boy who persevered to end up rewriting the rule book on how to goaltend.
“A warrior is a combative personality who seeks victory and who is noble,” Michel Roy said in explaining the title of the 532-page volume published by Libre Expression.
A number of sports personalities attended the launch, including former Canadiens coaches Jacques Demers and Jean Perron as well as former goalies Craig Billington and Daniel Bouchard.