The Athletic’s Marc-Antoine Godin revisits the Patrick Roy trade some 25 years after the Massacre in Montreal, and he
reveals discusses the fact that a certain Red Wings goaltender helped spurn Roy to ask the Canadiens for a trade:
In 2015, during an interview I published in La Presse that year, former goalie Mike Vernon told me what happened one morning in Montreal when he stopped for breakfast at the Casse-Croûte du Coin – or Moe’s Diner as it was better known in some circles. A popular breakfast spot for hockey people a stone’s throw from the Forum, the restaurant shut its doors the same week the Roy trade celebrated its 20th anniversary.
A Calgary native, Vernon had led his hometown team to its first Stanley Cup in 1989 and had become a local hero of sorts. But eventually, the weight of that environment had become too heavy and he had asked the Flames to trade him, which they did in 1994 when they sent him to the Red Wings for defenceman Steve Chiasson.
So Vernon was still with the Red Wings a year later when he entered the semi-basement restaurant on De Maisonneuve Blvd. when suddenly, he noticed Roy.
“Patrick sat at the counter, he was getting ready to settle the bill,” Vernon told me. “There was a free seat next to him and he motioned for me to sit down. He wanted to talk.”
The two men had never really spoken. What an incredible coincidence that these two men would cross paths on this particular morning, brought together by bacon and eggs and a basket of toast cut into triangles, at the very moment Roy needed someone to confide in. He spoke to Vernon about the pressure of Montreal, how he had thoughts of retiring now that he had turned 30, the stifling expectations he lived with.
“It might be time for you to ask for a trade,” Vernon, perhaps the one person who understood Roy’s predicament the most, suggested to him.