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Crispy confidences from José Théodore

Published September 2, 2021 at 5:11 PM

Before the Carey Price era, the Canadiens could count on a certain José Théodore in front of the net. The Quebec goaltender won the Vézina and Hart trophies during the 2001-2002 season. He had an exceptional year with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.

Theo appeared on the latest Spittin' Chiclets podcast where he took the opportunity to share some of the highlights of his professional hockey career. He first admitted that the Montreal media helped him at the beginning of his career when he was in contract negotiations with the Canadiens' management.

Like many French-speaking players who have passed through Montreal, the former goaltender has had a difficult time. "I'm not comparing myself to Patrick Roy or P.K. Subban, but when you get in the public eye off the ice - I had a lot of sponsors and I was in commercials - you become a bit of a distraction. That's kind of what happened to P.K.," the 44-year-old analyzed.

He also revealed the moment he noticed he was no longer in the good graces of journalists. It was after a bad joke about the fans at the opening of training camp in 2005. It made headlines in several metropolitan dailies. "I realized that before, I had the media pushing for me and helping me. At that moment, I realized that this had changed. I saw the change in attitude and I was traded that season," he recalled.

The principal also looked back on the saga when he was associated with the Hells Angels. "They [the police] thought I might be involved and they called their intervention an 'arbitration investigation'. About ten or twenty people were arrested. They didn't come for me. Imagine the media in Montreal. I remember being on the front page of the newspaper for seven consecutive days. I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but I was the guy who played for the Canadiens."

Theo also went back to the famous photo with one of the organized crime members. "When I was 19, I was invited to a golf tournament. When someone invites you to take a picture with them, you don't ask for ID..."

"At 26, I had great sponsors and everything is fine. Now, a photo taken by the police is sent to the media and I had a hell of a summer," said Theo, who admitted losing about $1 million in connection with the case.

The most interesting story is the one about Terry Ryan. Ryan was selected in the first round in 1995 by the Canadiens. He was the eighth selection of the auction. Now, he is known as one of the biggest disappointments in the history of the Habs and you will understand why.

"On St. Patrick's Day, he told me he wanted to beat his record and that he was going to try to drink 36 beers in an hour," recalled Théodore.

"After 25 beers, he got up to go to the bathroom. He just fell face first into the floor. [...] He was a great team player."

So it's not really surprising why he wasn't able to break into the NHL!
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