SUN Hockey Pool

Just for laughs

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

Puck drop for the Calgary Flames game in Detroit was a couple of hours away.

As players milled around preparing to face the Red Wings, the tension in the dressing room was palpable.

Then Andre Roy raced through.

With an elastic serving as a head band, his T-shirt tied in the front "like a bar beer-tub girl" and his shorts pulled up in a manner that would make Daisy Duke blush, the Flames enforcer went through the room in a flash.

He then reappeared moments later as if nothing had happened.

"It's a big game and everybody's uptight. It eased the tension quite a bit," said Eric Nystrom.

"It was pretty funny. We were howling."

Sure it was goofy, but that was the point.

"Everybody was so quiet in the room. It seemed like everybody was kinda stressed out," Roy recalled.

"It was only five seconds, but the guys who saw it had a good laugh, I guess."

Roy's on-ice role is to help keep the peace.

Off the ice, the 33-year-old right-winger relishes his job to make his teammates laugh.

It's been that way since he was a youngster, getting kicked out of class for disrupting.

"Not all the time, just once in a while," he pointed out.

"It think it's my personality. Since I was a kid, I've always liked to be a clown. I don't think it's to get attention. I just like to have fun and have people laugh. In my hockey career, I've brought that around.

"Sometimes you need that. The locker-room is quiet and you need a guy who knows when you need that. I like to do that."

He certainly can make you laugh.

During a practice in San Jose earlier this year, he found a rental helmet lying around, one of the old Jofa types used by Jaromir Jagr back in the early '90s that looked like it belonged to the Great Gazoo.

Roy took to the ice and was skating like a newcomer to the game and drew all kinds of guffaws from his teammates.

Earlier this week, he hit the ice for practice wearing a Santa wig and beard.

When asked by a reporter armed with a video camera what he wanted for Christmas, Roy began to sing Mariah Carey's All I want for Christmas is You.

"He's got a knack for sound effects, too," Nystrom said.

"On the plane, when the flight attendants are walking by, he'll make a sound identical to the overhead call button. It's funny to watch them look around to see who's calling.

"Yeah, he's a pretty unique guy."

And these are just some of the stories fit to print in a family paper.

Nystrom, Dustin Boyd and Curtis McElhinney sit nearest Roy in the Flames dressing room. It happens to be the corner where you most often hear laughter.

"Those guys are always laughing about something," said Craig Conroy.

"I can't hear what he's saying, but they're always laughing."

Yeah, its like being in a comedy club, without the two-drink minimum.

"Sometimes I've got to tell him, 'OK Roysie, I'm getting ready here' but he keeps it light and is a fun guy to be around. I enjoy sitting next to him," Nystrom said. "Having a guy like that around can really cheer you up and make you laugh. Sometimes you forget how important it is to laugh."

Roy doesn't. You can often hear him singing, too.

"I sing quite a bit in the shower. I actually play a bit of guitar, so I like to sing. I sound better in the shower," he said.

"It's such a long year from the start of camp through playoffs. It's a long season. Obviously, when it's game time, you need to be serious, but I think you need to have fun. You need to loosen up one in a while.

"Sometimes, it's so much hockey -- practices, video, meetings -- you need to get your mind off it a little.

"I think guys like to loosen up."


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