ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Patrick Roy has been retired for less
than a year, and he's already considered "legendary."
Fans voted Roy and former NHL greats Ray Bourque, Wayne Gretzky,
Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr to the first NHL Legendary
The squad was announced Sunday in a ceremony during the first
intermission of the All-Star Game. The ballot included all retired
NHL players who were selected to seven or more NHL All-Star games.
Fans were able to vote for two defensemen, a center, a left wing, a
right wing and a goaltender.
"It's a tremendous honor," said Roy, an 11-time All-Star who
retired after last season.
Added Bourque: "You look at this team and you look at the great
players that have played in the NHL, and when the fans select you
this way, I think there's no higher honor."
Bourque also said he would've liked to have played with some of
the other players who were voted in before they retired.
"Would have been a dream come true if Bobby would have stuck
around a few more years," he said.
"And Wayne Gretzky, I got to play with him in Canada Cups and
got burnt many times against him, so it's nice being on his side
again," he added with a laugh.
Consider the source?
Goaltenders have gotten better, so make it harder
for them to stop shots.
That's the word from ... Patrick Roy?
"I think I'm not going to have a lot of friends after what I'm
going to say. To evolve the game, I think you should have the goal
post smaller to the outside and go back to the 10-inch pad," the
former Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche goalie said. "That will give three
inches on each shot for every shooter, and that's plenty for
Roy was asked what can be done to make hockey more exciting for
"The position has changed. Now you have goaltenders going in
corners, shooting the puck as well as forwards. They are very
involved," he said.
Roy also thinks expansion has diluted the NHL.
"I think 16 teams was probably the best for this league. And if
you take 10 teams out of there -- I know the [players' association]
won't like what I'm saying -- but obviously, I mean, talent would be
better on the ice, too," Roy said.
A couple of old centers moved up the All-Star
scoring charts Sunday. The New York Rangers' Mark Messier, 43, had
a goal and an assist for the Eastern Conference to give him 20
career points in 15 All-Star games.
Messier is third behind Wayne Gretzky (25) and Mario Lemieux
(23). Gordie Howe is fourth with 19.
Colorado's Joe Sakic, 34, the MVP with three goals, moved into
fifth place with 18 career points in 11 games.
Sakic was typically humble when asked about his feat.
"Oh, I had no idea," he said. "I didn't think you kept
Roloson played the third period for the West and drew loud ovations for every save, although the crowd quieted down when Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a breakaway.
Roloson, a journeyman goaltender who revived his career with the
Wild, finished with six saves on seven shots in his first All-Star
"I was a little nervous," he said.
Actor Kurt Russell took part in a pregame
tribute to former hockey coach and St. Paul native Herb Brooks.
Brooks, best known for leading the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team
to a stunning victory over the Soviet Union, was killed last summer
when his minivan rolled over on a local interstate highway.
Before the game, video of Brooks' coaching days with the
Minnesota North Stars and the final seconds of the victory over the
Soviets was shown on the scoreboard, drawing loud cheers from the
Russell, who plays Brooks in the new Disney movie "Miracle,"
told the crowd that no hockey celebration in Minnesota would be
complete without honoring Brooks.
A familiar face
NHL veteran Phil Housley was honored with a
video tribute during the game.
Housley, a 21-year veteran, retired last month. He had 1,232
points in 1,495 NHL games with Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis,
Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago and Toronto.
The crowd cheered loudly when the scoreboard showed him watching
the game from his seat.
Keeping with tradition at most All-Star games, no penalties were called and the referees weren't big on calling icing, either. The game lasted only 2:14. "I guess the guys were in a hurry to get out of here," Eastern Conference goalie Roberto Luongo said.