By Cliff Mehrtens
The Charlotte Observer
Andre Roy’s attitude almost cost him a job in professional hockey.
In the 1997-98 season with the Charlotte Checkers, Roy, then 22, had to ask his teammates to allow him back after coach John Marks booted him.
Now, Roy is skating in the Stanley Cup finals.
He is the first former Checker to reach the championship round. Roy’s role with the Tampa Bay Lightning is much as it was here — antagonize, be physical and be willing to fight.
“He’s got the same personality,” said Marks, now coach of the ECHL Greenville Grrrowl. “Feisty and not going to back down. Cannon of shot, too. He just doesn’t know where it’s going.”
Game 2 ended Thursday with Roy, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound winger, screaming at Calgary players as he was being restrained by an official.
Roy, a Boston Bruins farmhand when he was assigned to Charlotte in 1997, had brief NHL stints the previous two seasons.
“He not only felt like he should have been in the American League but the NHL then,” Marks said. “His attitude wasn’t very good, and I kicked him off the team a few days. He came back and apologized to his teammates.”
From then on, Marks said, Roy was the best player in the league. He had 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games, and 132 penalty minutes.
“I’m proud of Andre,” Marks said. “It took a little wake-up call. He was big, strong, skated well, and he was feared.”
Roy has 310 NHL games with Boston, Ottawa and Tampa Bay. He has scored 52 points and had 734 penalty minutes. In 18 playoff games this season, Roy has a goal, two assists and 49 penalty minutes.