A banner night for Roy and Clark

SCOTT MORRISON

, Last Updated: 3:42 PM ET

Just wondering, but now that Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens have resolved their 13-year separation, if it so happens that the Habs one day are looking for a coach and if it so happens that Roy one day wants to pursue an NHL coaching career, might there be a fit?

Of course.

But that option didn't exist until the day the Canadiens, classy as always, called with the news they wanted to retire his No. 33 and Roy accepted, willing to put the ugly separation in December, 1995 behind him.

The forgiving and forgetting will begin in earnest tonight.

Now, everyone expects that one day Roy, if he wants an NHL job, will wind up back in Colorado in some capacity. But if the day comes that Guy Carbonneau decides to leave, or is pushed out, the Canadiens could potentially be an option, as well. Just a thought.

That is, of course, if Roy is good enough.

The NHL, however, will not be on the radar for Roy, however, until his two sons, who play for him in Quebec, graduate from junior hockey.

MORE ROY

Debate amongst yourselves: Who was the greatest goaltender of all-time -- Roy, or Terry Sawchuk or Jacques Plante or Martin Brodeur?

One thing is for certain: During his time and beyond, there weren't many big games in which Roy did not excel.

When a win was crucial, more often than not he won. The Canadiens don't win the Stanley Cup in 1986 without him and, and again in 1993, and they don't get to the final in 1989, either.

Kind of lends credence to what Roy has been saying this week, in part explaining why he agreed to return for the ceremony, that his career in Montreal was more than one horrible night.

BANNER IDEA

So, tonight the Leafs will raise a banner in honour of Wendel Clark. Later in the season, they will do the same for Doug Gilmour. Both were excellent Leafs, terrific captains and very worthy of the honour.

Who should be the next Leaf to be so honoured?

You could make a compelling case for another former captain, Rick Vaive, who played for the team for eight seasons and became the first Leaf to score 50 goals in a season, doing it for three consecutive years (54, 51 and 52). Overall, he scored 299 goals in those eight seasons on not great teams.

STARS GAZING

Here is a telling stat that helps explain why the Dallas Stars are struggling so mightily. In 18 games, they have allowed five goals or more eight times, the most of any team in the league.

All of last season, they allowed five or more goals just eight times.

Those close to the team believe it is still searching for an identity after several off-season roster moves. It obviously isn't as defensively sound as it once was and doesn't have the offence, either.

BACK TO WENDEL

Back in 1993, when the Leafs upset the Red Wings in the first round and eventually were beaten by Los Angeles in seven games in the conference final, Clark received a lot of criticism early for his apparent reluctance to fight in that series with Detroit.

Clark admits now that he was willing to go ("I loved fighting"), but before every game, every period, Leafs coach Pat Burns ordered him to not fight Bob Probert.

Another myth was that Clark and cousin Joey Kocur made a pact as kids to not fight in the NHL.

"Not true," Clark said.

Clark was a great player to watch, with his rambunctious style, great wrist shot and ability to light up a building with his hands, hits or fights.

Had his health been better -- he missed the equivalent of five full seasons over 15 years -- he would have been regarded much differently across the league.

THIS AND THAT

Interesting stat -- through the first 17 games of the season, Red Wings star defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom hadn't taken a single penalty, which is remarkable given the officiating standards these days. It speaks to great quickness, discipline and positioning. Lidstrom did take a couple of hooking penalties, however, the other night against Edmonton ... Overlooked with all the raves about the play of the San Jose Sharks, which is richly deserved, is over the final 20 games of last season they were 16-2-2. Through the first 20 games of this season they are 16-3-1 ... Guess not all teams suffer Stanley Cup hangovers. Detroit is no worse than last spring and, after a sluggish start, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good, as well ... What a difference a year makes, indeed. A year ago today, Ottawa was 16-2


Videos

Photos