Traded To Colorado
Roy did not live up to the expectations of the rabid Montreal fans and media, especially when the team missed the playoffs in 1995. Already known for having a temper, during a game in December 1995, Roy acted out when the first-year Montreal coach Mario Tremblay did not take him out of a game in which he was losing badly, something that was generally done. Roy declared he would never play for the Canadiens again. He was suspended, then traded to the Colorado Avalanche. This blowup was not the only reason he was traded. Roy was making the highest salary in Montreal—$2.8 million per season—on a team that had money issues.
Though Roy was traded, he went into a good situation. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996, defeating the upstart Florida Panthers. Roy was in net as the Avalanche went to the playoffs each year 1997-2001, but did not repeat as Stanley Cup champions until 2001. Roy again won the Conn Smythe Trophy. In 2002, Roy again had great a regular season with a 1.94 goals against. While he kept team going in the 2002 post-season, he lost to Detroit in Western Conference Finals, letting in six goals in the seventh and deciding game of the series. The defeat did nothing to shake his confidence, and Roy did not plan on retiring in the near future.
Roy is generally recognized as a great goalie who changed the position and how it is played, refining the butterfly style. He also owns two significant records that cemented his reputation. In October 2000, in a game against the Washington Capitals, he bested Terry Sawchuk's record for regular season wins by a goalie with 448 plus and counting. He already held the record for playoff wins with 121 (before the 2001 playoffs). As Michael Farber wrote in Sports Illustrated, "outside the box of numbers and awards … Roy is the most important goalie in history."