During his Hall of Fame career, few were better at shutting down opposing offenses than Patrick Roy.
That's what makes his latest comments so bizarre.
On Tuesday Roy, who is the co-owner, general manager and head coach of the Quebec Remparts, was highly critical to reporters on how defensive the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has become over the past few years, placing the majority of the blame on the shoulders of current Tampa Bay Lightning head coach and former Drummondville Voltigeurs coach Guy Boucher.
While Boucher led the Voltigeurs to their best season in club history and an appearance at the Memorial Cup, Roy feels that he set back the progress of hockey in Quebec.
"Guy did not advance the QMJHL with his defensive system, many teams copied it," Roy told Le Journal de Quebec. "I want to be understood well. I do not disparage the work of Guy. He was innovating. I congratulate him for his vision and his use of (sports) psychology. I don't claim that he's not a brilliant coach. But his defensive philosophy set our league back."
Roy's claims seem somewhat unfounded however, as Boucher's Drummondville team was the highest scoring club in the QMJHL two seasons ago with 345 goals in 68 games.
Roy feels that Boucher's style of play is one of the reasons that the QMJHL is having difficulty developing elite level players and has contributed to a diminished product on the ice.
"We put Guy Boucher in high esteem from the way it works," he explained. "But to send four players into the corners, this has perhaps slowed the development of some young players and has made the game less exciting for the hockey fan."
Boucher responded to Roy's comments in an interview with the Tampa Bay Tribune.
"I know he made these comments because apparently some people are trying to copy my style in the league, but the reality is I'm not there. I didn't see any games last year and I haven't seen any games this year, so I can't really comment on what is going on down there I can only comment on what I'm doing here with my guys and the NHL," Boucher told the Tribune.
As for his influence over the game in Quebec, Boucher did not believe he had as great an influence on the style of play as Roy suggested.
"I would not be pretentious enough to say that I had that much impact, whether positively or negatively on an entire league," Boucher told the Tribune. "His comments were about some teams trying to play the same defensive style we had, but the funny thing is my teams were always the number one offensive teams. We were first in the league in junior in offense, the same last year in the American League we were one of the top offenses, this year we are the top team in the NHL. So we spend 80 percent of our time working on offense, and if you watch our practices you'll see, so that's all I'm focusing on."