14 Years Ago, in a Waiting Room

Alright people, where were you 14 years ago?

I ask because this info-laden post from Elliotte Friedman reminded me that last Saturday -- hopefully the Candiens' final centennial celebration -- was also the 14th anniversary of the Patrick Roy trade from Montreal to Colorado. Which brought back some memories about where I was 14 years ago -- or more precisely, where I was a few months later, reading about the trade in depth. (Don't worry, this post is actually Islanders-related.)

After a dislocated shoulder suffered in a hockey game (thought the boards were closer than they were, reached out my arm to brace myself and {pop}), I was sitting in a physical therapist's office waiting for rehab treatment. Since hockey is never well-covered anywhere in the States, I was excited to find in the waiting room a (then few months old) copy of Sports Illustrated with this article, about the Roy trade.

It was a pretty interesting article in that age where not much hockey info was available on that "Web" thing people were starting to get on their computer. Learning some of the behind the scenes stuff on the trade was a bit of an escape for me. Why was it an escape?


Because as I vividly remember from sitting there reading that article, with my hockey "career" (all due tongue-in-cheek) on IR, the Islanders were going through one of their ugliest seasons, and an epic 11-game losing streak was in effect. (As I look it up, this had to be some time in March 1996, because I know the streak hadn't ended yet).

That year was the 54-point season, with Milbury as coach, where everything went wrong. The killer for me at the time was on paper (and in EA NHL 96) it seemed like the Islanders had some decent players: Palffy (43 goals), Mathieu Schneider, Wendel Clark, Todd Bertuzzi (heh), a 70-point year from Travis Green. Of course, they also dressed 53 different guys that year, including four goalies: Tommy Soderstrom, Eric Fichaud, Jamie McLennan and Tommy Salo. And guys like Derek King and Patrick Flatley were on fumes. A guy like Danton Cole even got 10 games in.

As many of you know by now, I'm an Islanders fan and a Blues fan -- an inbred arrangement created by my Al Arbour-loving father and made possible by the fact the two teams rarely crossed paths. So what was going on in the other half of my hockey fan life at that time? A very disappointing Blues season under Mike Keenan -- Chris Pronger just barely getting his legs under him, Brett Hull had been stripped of the captaincy -- was salvaged in February by the Wayne Gretzky trade.

While one of my teams was headed toward the #3 overall pick (J.P. Dumont! Loddy-frickin-da!), the other team had just acquired The Great One. Of course, that move turned up crap, too, as a few months later Gretzky moved to ... the damned Rangers. I can't win.

Anyway, I was just struck how that Friedman mention sent all these memories flooding back to me sitting in that PT's office. I haven't thought about that period in a while (for obvious reasons, my nostalgia trends more toward the '80s), but it was like Friedman flipped a switch in my head. I remember still hating Montreal because of 1993, so I was happy they lost Roy so stupidly -- yet I loved the Nordiques, so I was bummed that megalomaniac Roy was going to be "one of them" even in Avalanche colors.

I understand if it's too painful or boxed away for you to recall, but do you have any specific memories from that period? (This is obviously open to fans of any team.)

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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