Jose Theodore opened up about a painful moment in his career...

Published September 19, 2021 at 5:23 PM

If there's one athlete that Habs fans had a love/hate relationship with, it's definitely former goalie Jose Theodore. He was a whipping boy, to say the least, when he underperformed, but when he was in form, he was cheered. Doesn't that remind you of a certain number 31?

Theodore went through a variety of emotions during his 648-game NHL career, many of which were not easy to live with.

In an interview with "Le salon des anciens", including Patrice Brisebois, José Théodore confided to us about a moment in his career that had a profound effect on him, and rightfully so. In August 2009, Theodore lost his two-month-old son just before the start of training camp. At the time, he was with the Washington Capitals. He opened up about the kind of summer he had.

"I had spent my summer at the hospital, so I didn't have time to train. I didn't have my mind on hockey."

Despite all that, the former No. 60 felt he had a responsibility to the Capitals, given that he had a big contract and was the starting goalie. The last thing he wanted was to be pitied by the organization.

"The reality is that I had a big contract with the Capitals, I was their number one goalie. I wanted to have a good season regardless, because at the end of the day, nobody is going to feel sorry for anybody. If you don't perform, you don't play in the NHL anymore."

"Theo" explained how he reacted to the whole situation. He acted like a real professional hockey player. The arena was his sanctuary and hockey was his therapy.

"Normally, I would arrive an hour before practice. At the end of practice, I would wash up and go straight home. That year it was different, I was alone and I didn't talk to anyone because I didn't want to be disturbed. I would arrive 2 or 3 hours before practice, practice and watch videos. When I was there, I forgot about all my external problems. I forgot about reality. It made for one of the best seasons of my career."

When that campaign came to an end, Jose Theodore was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the player who showed the most perseverance and sportsmanship during the regular season. An honor that Theodore ultimately won.

"I was happy, but I was even prouder of what I had accomplished, despite the difficulties I had to face. When I look back on winning the Masterton, it reminds me of the bad memories I had, but it also reminds me of the reasons why I won that trophy."

José Theodore recounted his experience with a lump in his throat. It's enough to give you chills. Quite an accomplishment for the former Hart and Vézina Trophy winner in 2001-2002, when he played with the Canadiens.
Latest 10 stories