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WE'VE always known that Manitoba Moose left-winger Jimmy Roy had a certain flair in his performance.

After all, he's the franchise's all-time leader in goals -- including some very big ones since he joined the team in 1997 -- he's a reviled opponent in all of the American Hockey League for his ability to badger opponents and get under their skin, and he's the cover boy on the Moose media guide this season.

It turns out that such flair even holds true in his own kitchen.

Several teammates raved about the Thanksgiving feast he and his wife Laura whipped up for them this fall, but were they just being kind?

A visit to the Roy homestead this week revealed impressive culinary skills, certainly beyond the stirring, shaking, slicing, pounding and jabbing seen at many arenas throughout North American in recent seasons.

For instance, though it was a rare day off for the 28-year-old Sioux Lookout, Ont., native, fried walleye, mashed potatoes and corn were on last night's menu, a quick fix for one of those harried, pre-Christmas days. The Roy kitchen, however, would pass the Good Housekeeping test with flying colours. The fridge is meticulously organized, as is the space in the smallish, typical condo kitchen. It's the same with the counter space, where the larger utensils hang just so above the counter.

In the corner, titles on the kitchen shelves include The Soup Bible; Blue Ginger, east meets west, cooking with ming tsai; Canada's Best Slow Cooker Recipes; The Book of Salads.

"It's something in my family, I think," Roy said of his abilities with food. "My grandmother (Alene Roy), she's a great cook, more of an old-fashioned, meat-and-potatoes, kind of cook. But those potato dumplings, wow, things like that."

The secret-coated walleye frying on his stove is from his dad, caught this summer in the Lake of the Woods area and frozen in water until yesterday morning.

"Laura likes to cook, too," Roy said, eager to share the credit. "We both do our share, take our turns. But it's easier right now with the baby for me to be doing a lot of it."

The Roys' new daughter Brooklyn is just a little more than four months old. Roy is also handy with a barbecue, even in the winter months.

"I like to barbecue a steak every now and again, or cook a roast, but not so much now because Laura doesn't eat red meat," he said. "There's not much point cooking for myself too much."

Is there anything he doesn't do?

"I'm not much of a baker, unless it's shake and bake," he joked.

Laura's favourite is Jimmy's roast chicken, which is on the menu for the family's Christmas feast.

"He doesn't use any timer and no cookbook," Laura said. "He's just a natural cook. It always turns out just succulent. I have to follow the recipe, always looking, and he throws it together and puts a few things in it like herbs and salt and pepper and puts it there and it's always perfect.

"Just fabulous. I've never had such good chicken."

Like most people, Roy has the everyday meals, and then there are the occasions.

He loves to make bananas flambe, for instance, when he's out to impress company. Not long after Laura became his wife-to-be, she visited him from her native California. That week, the Moose forward had grand plans.

"The first time she came up here when we were dating, I had just moved in here three days and I hadn't figured out how to work the fireplace yet," Roy began the story. "I didn't know the flue was way up in there and I couldn't find it and I figured these buildings were big enough that there was just one at the top of the building.

"So I have one of those firelogs and put it on in the fireplace and I'm cooking supper and she came into the kitchen and asked if I thought it was a little smoky. I didn't really notice it, but I opened up the patio doors and then came back in and I could see it was kind of smoky, so I figured it was just the log.

"The smoke detector was going off in here, and so Laura opened up the front door to the hallway to get some air in here and all that did was set off the alarm in the whole condo building. I had just moved in, hadn't even met my neighbors, and now all this is going on.

"I couldn't figure out how to get that fire log out of there. Baking soda only made it smoke more because there's fuel inside it and that wouldn't put it out. So finally I grabbed a pan and a wooden spoon and I rolled the log into the pan and I took it out the patio doors. Everybody from the condo is standing outside and the lady who runs the complex here comes over and looks at the pan, which is still burning, and said, 'Jimmy, what were you cooking?'

"Finally, she showed me where to open the flue. I was so embarrassed, trying to impress Laura with a nice dinner."

The neighbours, of course, didn't see Roy's actual kitchen creation, which turned out just fine, despite the other kind of flare.

"He cooked me salmon the first time he cooked," Laura remembered. "Then it was the chicken after that on my first trip up here. It was still long-distance (relationship) at that time, but they were both fabulous. I was very impressed, I've got to say, fire and all."

 

Jimmy Roy is known for his skills in the kitchen, but this meal left him with way too much time in the bathroom.

The veteran Manitoba Moose winger went against his better judgment on Tuesday when cooking his pre-game meal.

"The piece of steak had been in my fridge for a while and it kind of smelled funny," said Roy. "But I thought I'd cook it until it was well done and I threw a bunch of Montreal steak spice on it."

Roy managed to play in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals and actually scored a goal, but he didn't do much celebrating when he returned home.

"I was dead tired, so I went to bed right away but about 10 minutes later I woke up," said Roy, who was hit with a serious bout of food poisoning. "I was throwing up for about six hours straight, 20 minutes on and five minutes off. I don't think I've ever been that sick in my life before.

"I was ready to ask Laura (Roy's wife) to call an ambulance. I had in my mind, 'what is the closest hospital we can go to?' It was scary."

Roy, who was limited to two bowls of chicken soup on Wednesday, returned to practice yesterday and says he should be ready to go tonight against the Syracuse Crunch.

 

While the Vancouver Canucks were busy inking their most popular player in Markus Naslund to a contract, the Manitoba Moose quickly followed suit.

The American Hockey League club announced yesterday that their face of the franchise, forward Jimmy Roy, has signed a one-year contract extension.

Terms of the deal were not released.

"It's an opportunity for me to play another year of hockey in this city that I really couldn't turn down," Roy said about the deal and suiting up for his ninth season of Moose hockey. "This city and this organization have been great to me."

The franchise leader in goals (92), penalty minutes (1,290), and games played (541), Roy is notorious in AHL circles for his tenacious and pesky style on the ice.

Last season, Roy appeared in 50 games, scoring 10 goals, 17 points and amassing 187 PIM. His career point total (195) leaves him in third place in all-time Moose scoring.

Away from the rink, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound winger is more than gracious with his time, volunteering for a number of charitable causes. In 2003, the league recognized his unselfishness with the Yanick Dupre Award, given to an AHL player for outstanding community involvement.

"Jimmy's one of the guys we count on from year to year, not only on the ice but off the ice, too," said Moose general manager Craig Heisinger, in Vancouver meeting with Canucks officials regarding the vacant Moose coaching situation. "We always evaluate players after every season, and here, everything seem to fit.

"It was pretty simple to go forward with Jimmy."

Roy in a Moose uniform is something that Winnipeg hockey fans have seen now for the past eight seasons, so his signing comes as a no-brainer for the player and the team.

Technically a free agent on July 1, the Moose are calling it a contract extension as a one-year deal was worked out between the two sides right around the free agent deadline.

Roy said while he didn't get into serious negotiations with other clubs, he did feel around to see what other teams were doing, just to make sure he wasn't missing out on something.

"You have to be aware of what's out there in order to move ahead," the Sioux Lookout, Ont., product said. "I don't want to take a step backward, so you have to explore other options. I wanted to wait and see what Manitoba wanted to do before I took other things seriously."

In the end, the Winnipeg-Vancouver connection proved to be the best fit, and though he may be a seasoned veteran at 29 years old, the NHL flame still burns bright in Roy.

"Especially with the excitement revolving around the NHL right now with teams signing all these players and knowing there's going to be an NHL season," he said.

"That excitement is more than enough to get you motivated when you get to the gym."

 

THE only place where such an announcement makes anybody happy is in Winnipeg.

Jimmy Roy is back with the Manitoba Moose.

The 29-year-old native of Sioux Lookout, Ont., has another one-year contract with the American Hockey League team and will begin his ninth season in October. Roy is the franchise's all-time leader in goals, 92, career games, 541 and penalty-minutes, 1,290.

"This was my first option," he said yesterday. "I still want to play for a while. I suppose (the deal) was easy because they know what type of player I am and I know what they're about. We've known each other for nine years. I think that helps."

Roy is known for his agitator's role around the AHL. It was also the case in the former IHL. He joined the team in the fall of 1997 after playing college hockey at Michigan Tech and then spending a year with Canada's national team.

Last season, Roy put up 10 goals and 17 points in 50 regular-season games as the Moose juggled their roster because of veteran players. Roy is one and sat out games because of the AHL's roster restrictions. He went on to add two playoff goals in Manitoba's long spring, including the game-winner at MTS Centre against Rochester on May 11.

This summer's uncertainty about the 2005-06 edition of the team -- the Moose are without a coach after Randy Carlyle left to join the NHL's Anaheim Mighty Ducks -- isn't worrying Roy.

"I don't' think it's anything to worry about," Roy said. "We've had a different coach a few times. The biggest things to do are to support whatever system is in place, whatever coach it is and do your part to try to win."

After news of his contract was released, the left-winger said it was way too early to start picking out highlight moments from his career with the Moose. That's because he continues to look forward to winning possibilities, an attitude sparked again by last season's successes.

"Lots of things stick out, so many really that it would be tough to pinpoint just one," he said. "But I know the closing of the old arena and the opening of the new one last season, plus the playoffs this year, those were a lot of fun."

Roy also said the return of NHL hockey this fall makes it an exciting time to be a player. "I'm definitely relieved about that," he said. "It's also motivation, too. There's a future in this game, now that they're back playing. And as much disappointment as there was when the NHL wasn't playing, people I think will go back and that makes it an exciting time in hockey. I'm looking forward to seeing how the new rules and the rule changes will make the game more exciting."

 

Sunday 9 July 2006

Mr. Moose takes off the antlers; Roy opts for ice time in Germany


by Tim Campbell, Winnipeg Free Press

MR. MOOSE is turning in his antlers. Jimmy Roy, the face of the Manitoba Moose franchise for the last nine seasons, will not be back with the AHL team in the fall, instead shifting his career to a team in Germany, the DEL's Iserlohn Roosters.

"The biggest thing for me is that I don't want to sit in the stands anymore," Roy said last night, confirming his departure. "I want to play.

"With that (AHL) veteran rule, well, I'm not ready to hang 'em up or only play 50 games a year and sit out in the playoffs. It was a tough time for me this year. It's not (Alain Vigneault's) fault, or (Moose GM Craig Heisinger's or team governor Mark Chipman's). It's just the way the league went and I'm not done playing."

The AHL permits only five veterans in any game, players who have more than 260 games experience in IHL, AHL, NHL or European games. The last two seasons, the Moose carried six veterans.

In those two seasons, Roy played 50 and then 62 games, and then just four of this spring's 13 playoffs.

"I had a guy looking for me while I was sitting out in the playoffs and not having any fun and he found a few places that were interested, in Sweden, Finland and Germany," Roy said. "I was coming home then and complaining a lot to my wife, to my family." Heisinger said last night that the Moose were in a tough spot, unable to guarantee Roy playing time.

"The bottom line for us is that Jimmy wants to play all 80 games and the playoffs and I can't promise him that," Heisinger said. "That said, he had to make a decision on what's best for him. I just couldn't make those promises to him on July 8.

"I'll be the first to say Jimmy's done lots for us, but life goes on."

The 30-year-old left-winger leaves the Moose as the franchise's leader in at least six categories.

No player has played more games in a Moose uniform, 603, nor scored more than Roy's 101 goals.

He also leads in penalty minutes (1,434), game-winning goals (17), short-handed goals, (10, tied with Dave Christian) and shots on goal (1096). And only Brett Hauer has more Moose points than Roy, who leaves with 212.

The Roosters are coached by former Hamilton Bulldogs and Edmonton Road Runners coach Geoff Ward and include former Moose centre Brad Purdie.

"One of the biggest things about this team was that Geoff told me they only had three nights on the road last year," Roy said. "That's a huge attraction, especially for my family."

Tuesday 11 July 2006

Roy's skates cannot be filled
Moose losing a huge part of their soul with star's departure for Europe

by Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press

FOR the unsuspecting newcomer who requests No. 21 this fall at Manitoba Moose training camp, here's a quick list of what watchers will expect of the candidate inside that jersey:

Score giant overtime goals, provide selfless defensive play, display willingness to fight larger opponents on a near-nightly basis, visit hospitals, read to schoolchildren, be first out of bus to help trainers unload equipment, answer to media after games when most players have headed for refuge of trainer's room, provide Winnipeg dentists and plastic surgeons with endless work, sign autographs at grocery stores or restaurants or funeral homes or ice fishing huts, market franchise year-round and generally be the type of player every owner, coach and mother would love.

Jimmy Roy, who for the last nine years has worn No. 21 for the Manitoba Moose, is leaving to play this season in Germany for the Iserlohn Roosters. The Moose aren't just losing a player. They're having a hunk of their soul ripped away. Roy, the pride of Sioux Lookout, has long been the glory of the Moose, Winnipeg and Manitoba. They don't come down the pipe like this 170-pound redheaded slice of gristle very often. Don't think the Moose don't know it.

"Jimmy's been a huge asset to us. Not only on the ice but off the ice as the face of our team," commented Moose GM Craig Heisinger. "We've had players come in and take over part of that role. To say that somebody is going to replace Jimmy, that's just not going to happen."

Roy has played in 603 games as a Moose and is the franchise leader in six categories including goals and penalty minutes. A terror on the ice and the club's No. 1 public relations officer away from the rink, Roy has simply done it all for the Moose.

In this day and age when players exchange teams for a few extra dollars like most people change cereals and with about the same amount of thought, Roy is leaving so he can, unbelievably, do more. "I would have loved to have stayed and finished as a Moose. But I want to play. I don't want to sit in the press box. It's nobody's fault. It's the way the league is going," explained Roy, referring to the AHL's roster rule that allows teams to dress just five veterans per game. "It's unfortunate but I had to make a decision that was best for me and my family.

"I'm going... to get an opportunity to play and that's all you can ask for. I'm 30 years old. I had my moments this year when I knew it was a closing thing for me. I would get upset talking to my wife. But now it's an opening for me.

"It's a chance to see a bit of the world, an adventure and I can be a dad. I'll only spend three nights on the road this year and I'm really excited about that. I'm looking forward to it and the excitement of change."

Roy had a final moment in the sun as a Moose this past winter when he was named to the AHL All-Star Game as a president's selection and received a weekend of roars from a partisan Winnipeg crowd.

"That was a nice personal moment. The thing that would have been better would have been to win a championship. I hope this organization can go on to do that because the people here deserve that," said Roy, who will leave for Germany with wife Laura and daughter Brooklyn in August.

Heisinger said yesterday he's not sure Roy is gone forever.

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced the book is closed on this relationship. Dog-ear the page or put a bookmark in. We'll see what happens in the next year or two. For now Jimmy can go to Europe and that's great for him and his family. If we had've been able to guarantee him he could play every night, I think he would have stayed," said Heisinger. "But we can't do that; there are a number of circumstances surrounding that. What's best for Jimmy is what's best for us. He's given us an awful lot and certainly more than we've ever given him. I find it hard to believe that when Jimmy hangs it up he won't be a Manitoba Moose."

So for now, No. 21 is empty and so is the stall in which Roy has sat these last nine years. Camp will open this fall like it does every year and the Moose will move on. And maybe some rookie fresh out of junior will want the number he's worn since his days as a pee wee. Do yourself a favour kid, just walk away from the sweater.

 


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T

End of an era for Moosehe face of the Manitoba Moose is officially changing.

Jimmy Roy, the franchise leader in most categories and staple in the community during the past nine seasons, is packing his bags and heading for Europe.

The gritty left-winger has signed a one-year deal to play for the Islerlohn Roosters of the German Elite League (DEL).

During an informal media gathering to discuss his departure, Roy said it was an emotional decision but felt it was time to pursue another path.

"I know the grass is not always greener on the other side but after what I've gone through the last two years, I have to find out for myself," said Roy, who had 101 goals, 212 points and 1,434 penalty minutes in 603 career games with the Moose.

Roy's role with the Moose during the past two seasons was slightly diminished because of American Hockey League roster rules which limit the number of veterans teams can dress on any given night to five and Roy was often the sixth.

When his number was called, Roy showed he could still contribute and often garnered plenty of ice time, even in crucial situations.

And while he kept his head up and never showed his displeasure in front of the media or his teammates, not being in uniform -- especially during the playoff run last season -- was tearing him up inside.

"Showing your emotion is no good for the team and you're part of the team so you have to do your part," said Roy, a product of Sioux Lookout, Ont., who now lives in Winnipeg. "I've known for a while that I don't want to sit in the press box anymore. I want to be a part of something and make a contribution on the ice still. I think I'm still capable of doing it. Maybe this is my way of dealing with it."

The Roosters were one of a handful of teams (including two in Finland) to make Roy an offer and head coach Geoff Ward (who has AHL ties to the Edmonton Road Runners and Hamilton Bulldogs) went out of his way to make Roy feel wanted.

"He seems like the kind of coach you want to go out and work hard for," said Roy, 30. "With him being a Canadian coach, there's no language barrier. He knows what he's getting. Who knows what I'm capable of if I'm given the opportunity to do more?"

Roy believes his past experience with Canada's national team should help ease the transition to playing on the larger ice surfaces and adapting to the European style of play.

"Maybe I'm older and smarter now, in the hockey sense," said Roy. "My game has changed a little bit. I know what my role is, what is expected of me and what I have to do. I have to have finish out there, you've got to score."

Moose general manager Craig Heisinger said Roy's contribution to the organization was significant.

"He's given us a lot more than we've given him," said Heisinger. "To say that somebody is going to replace Jimmy, that's just not going to happen. Both sides have been excellent for each other's development.

"Jimmy has defended his teammates for all nine years that he's been here. And he probably scored the most important goals in franchise history in the biggest games. Now we're going to have to find somebody else to score them."

Heisinger said it's a day he's prepared for during the past few seasons but that he's not prepared to close the book on Roy just yet.

"I'm not sure this is the end of the story," said Heisinger. "I think it's a bookmark of a chapter and we'll see what happens in the next year or two. I just find it hard to believe that when Jimmy hangs it up, that he won't be a Manitoba Moose."

 

 

The top five goals of Jimmy Roy's Manitoba Moose career

- 5. October 24, 1997 -- The spunky forward scores the first goal of his professional career against the San Antonio Iguanas of the International Hockey League. Roy would play 61 games as a rookie and produce eight goals, 18 points and 133 penalty minutes.

- 4. April 16, 2006 -- Roy scores a pair of goals against the Cleveland Barons in the final game of the regular season. The first allows him to hit the century mark for his career and the second ends up being his final goal in a Moose uniform.

- 3. April 11, 2002 -- The Moose are tied 1-1 in the best-of-three survivor series round against the Worcester IceCats when Roy breaks in on a 3-on-1 rush and beats Reinhard Divis with a wrist-shot at 5:42 of the second overtime of the deciding game to help the Moose advance to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

- 2. May 11, 2005 -- Leading the series with the regular season champion Rochester Americans 2-1, Roy breaks a 1-1 deadlock with his fourth game-winning goal of his playoff career. The Moose go on to win Game 5 before a packed house of 15,015 at the MTS Centre.

- 1. April 29, 2001 -- With the Moose trailing the first-round series with the Houston Aeros 3-1 and facing elimination, Roy scores at 16:44 of the second overtime to send the series back to the Compaq Center and the Moose eventually complete the rally by winning three straight games to advance.