MONCTON -- Patrick Roy isn't going to let tact and common sense get in the way of saying what's on his mind.
Arguably the best goalie in the history of hockey, the co-owner and coach of the Quebec Remparts has caused a minor controversy at the Memorial Cup in the past few days as he has taken shots at the goaltenders of the Moncton Wildcats and Vancouver Giants.
Roy yesterday shrugged at the criticism he has taken in turn.
"I just try to tell the truth," said Roy, whose club faces the Wildcats in the round-robin finale tonight. "We are here to win the Memorial Cup and all my career I always have been about telling what my feelings are and why would I change?"
History backs Roy up. On Dec. 2, 1995, he ignited his trade from the Montreal Canadiens when he told then-president Ronald Corey, after being pulled during a shellacking at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, that he would not play in Montreal again. Days later, Roy was dealt to Colorado.
On the weekend, Roy said that if the Giants had received better goaltending from Dustin Slade, they would have been 2-0 going into last night. On Monday, Roy said Wildcats goalie Josh Tordjman is playing "over his head." Roy, who has been booed mercilessly each time he has been shown on the centre-ice video board during games at the Moncton Coliseum, did not retreat from those comments yesterday.
None of this sits well with Wildcats coach Ted Nolan, who told his team yesterday morning to ignore Roy.
"It is tasteless and it is classless," Nolan said. "He is always playing head games. As I told the guys, there are some good athletes, but that does not necessarily make them good people. Patrick is a human who is a great goaltender, but that does not make him a great person."
The Wildcats don't need any more inspiration to beat Quebec, since they did just that in six games to win the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title earlier in May.
As for Tordjman, a Montreal native, he said he is not going to let his childhood idol get under his skin. Tordjman has viewed Roy as a role model since he attended games as a kid at the old Montreal Forum.
"He's a guy who wants to win and I don't blame him for putting the comments out," Tordjman said. "I hold nothing against him. I don't think it is a big factor if it's coming from him or from Joe Schmo in the stands. I respect him. But it does not change anything for me mentally."