When fate smiles on you

You have already seen Butterfly Effect ? This film in which the main character changes his destiny by going back to the past on several occasions to make a different decision there at key moments in his life? What if it was Stéphane Fiset, as Serge Savard had foreseen when he was fired, who had come to Montreal in return for Patrick Roy?

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• Read also: 25 years after the exchange of Patrick Roy: the day everything changed for the Canadian

• Read also: CH: 25 years of great darkness

“I still wonder, what kind of career would I have had if I had been the one involved in this transaction? “Said Fiset in an interview with The Journal de Montreal.

“I would have liked it to know what would have happened if I had had the opportunity to work with François Allaire,” he added.

If we go by the journey Jocelyn Thibault has had, the result might not have been rosy. Behind a declining team, the Montrealer struggled as hard as he could in goal. However, due to Roy’s shadow, still looming over the Molson Center, winning the hearts of the fans was a nearly impossible mission.

“Regardless of who he was, for sure the goalie who was going to be traded for Patrick was going to feel incredible pressure. So, deep down inside, I don’t know if it tempted me that much to take the road to Montreal, “said the players’ agent, joined at his home in Victoriaville.

What if the transaction never happened? Whether Roy had stayed in Montreal or had he traded to another lineup? Since Thibault was a choice of 1er round (10e in total in 1993) and, therefore, the future guardian of the organization, could the cohabitation have lasted?

“Certainly one of the two would have left eventually, but we got along so well that we could have made a nasty good end together,” said Fiset.

Stephane Fiset

Courtesy photo

Stephane Fiset

Bad news

So he had to let his good friend go and replace him with someone who was going to take up a lot of space.

Fiset laughs when reminded of the statement he made to the late colleague Albert Ladouceur of Journal of Quebec, hearing Roy’s arrival with the Avalanche.

“I will not accept the role of second goalkeeper,” he said bluntly.

Clearly, the 25-year-old goaltender he was at the time had no intention of being squeezed by a new teammate who, by the time he came to Colorado, already had two Stanley Cups, two Conn-Smythe trophies and three Vézina trophies.

“I wasn’t the happiest guy,” he admitted. I had just had my best season in the NHL. I had just gotten the number one job. Plus, at that time, I was leading in the NHL for wins (13). So I saw great things for the future.

“There, I knew my season had practically ended,” he added.

He was right. On December 6, Fiset kept the net for the 19e times in 27 games. As of the following day, he would see action in 18 of the last 55 games of the 1995-96 campaign.

No regrets

Aware that he had just turned upside down the plans of the one that one of his predecessors (Maurice Filion) had selected at 2e round (24e in total) of the 1988 draft, Pierre Lacroix took care to meet him quickly.

“He told me I had a choice to stay with the team, play with the best goalie in the league and possibly win the Stanley Cup, or ask for a trade. “

After weighing the pros and cons with his partner, he chose to continue his association with the Avalanche. A choice which he still welcomes a quarter of a century later.

“Today I have no regrets. I had the chance to know Patrick and to play with a great goalie. I believe in destiny. He wanted me to be there to win the Stanley Cup with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote and Mike Ricci; a bunch of guys I got to know the dark Nordics with, he listed. It would have hurt my heart to leave for another organization sooner and miss this beautiful moment. “

The circle was closed, the chapter was closed. In fact, Fiset wasted no time in turning the page.

“I requested a trade the night of the Stanley Cup Parade. I ran into Pierre during the reception that followed. That’s where I asked him. “

No doubt in recognition of services rendered, Lacroix did not take long to grant his wish. Eight days later, Lacroix sent him to Los Angeles in return for Eric Lacroix, his own son.

BEFORE PATRICK ROY ARRIVES

(October 6 to December 6)

›19 games played (70% of 27 Avalanche games)

›13 victories *

›, 901 (efficiency rate)

›2.83 (average goals against)

AFTER ROY’S ARRIVAL

(December 7 to April 14)

›18 games played (33% of 55 Avalanche games)

›9 victories

›, 896 (efficiency rate)

›3.04 (average goals against)

* Top in the NHL

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