DENVER — Colorado’s Patrick Roy is retiring, ending the 18-year career of one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history.
Roy will make the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday, team spokesman Jean Martineau said.
A four-time Stanley Cup champion, Roy leaves as the NHL’s career leader in victories with 551 and games played with 1,029. He also is the all-time leader in playoff victories, games played and shutouts.
Roy is still considered one of the best goalies in the game at age 37, but he has been bothered by arthritic hips the past few years. He also has made it clear he wants to follow the career of his oldest son, Jonathan, a goalie who will start playing in Quebec this fall.
“It’s going to be sad for hockey,” Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said Tuesday. “He’s a great goaltender, probably the best that’s ever played.”
Roy won two Stanley Cups each with Montreal and Colorado, and is the only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the playoffs. Earlier this season he became the first goalie to eclipse 60,000 minutes.
Before Roy broke into the league with Montreal in 1985, most goalies either stayed on their feet or stacked their pads to stop shots.
Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, two goaltenders who starred in the 1960s and 1970s, helped develop the butterfly style of dropping to their knees to stop shots. Roy made the style popular during his record-setting career.
Roy is the NHL’s all-time leader with 23 career playoff shutouts, and his 247 games and 151 wins are well ahead of Grant Fuhr, who is second with 150 games and 92 wins.
“He basically has done everything and broke every record, so I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s the greatest goalie who ever played,” Colorado’s Mike Keane said recently.
Roy had his best regular season in 2001-02, with a 1.94 goals-against average and a career-high nine shutouts, but the playoffs ended in disappointment after he allowed six goals in a 7-0 loss to Detroit in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
Roy struggled early this season, but was unbeaten in 26 of his final 30 starts. He helped the Avalanche move past Vancouver and win the Northwest Division title. He finished fourth in the league with 35 wins and had a 2.18 goals-against average.