(Photo: Compilation of photos by Tony McCune & Rick Dikeman via Wikimedia Commons)
Double, double toil and trouble. Goalie Patrick Roy, No. 33, and center Mario Lemieux, No. 66, share the same birthday, 5 October 1965. Both were born in Quebec, Canada – Roy in Quebec City and Lemieux in Montreal.
Naturally, being the same age, both were drafted in 1984 – Roy by the Montreal Canadiens (as 51st pick) and Lemieux by the Pittsburg Penguins (as 1st pick). Roy stayed with the Canadiens for 12 seasons until moving on to the Colorado Avalanche in 1995 and playing another 8 seasons. Lemieux stuck with the Penguins until his temporary retirement (due to health reasons) in 1996 before rejoining in 2000 to play out his final five seasons there.
Both players went on to win numerous awards with their teams, often alternating years. Roy manned the net for four Stanley Cup wins – two with each of his teams – while Lemieux led the Penguins to two championship wins as a player and three as the owner. Although Lemieux received the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for both championship years, Roy broke the record winning the trophy three times and being the youngest winner for the first. Roy five times earned the William M. Jennings Trophy for goalie with the fewest goals recorded against him, sometimes in the same years as Lemieux six times earned the Art Ross Trophy as top scorer. The two matched three times earning the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender (for Roy) and the Hart Trophy as League MVP (for Lemieux).
Their numbers demonstrate their dominance. Lemieux finished 10 (of 17) seasons with more than 100 points and totaled 1723 points (in 915 games). Meanwhile, Roy’s career entailed 1029 games – the most by any goalie. He also racked up records for the most regular-season victories (551), playoff victories (151), and playoff shutouts (23).
Outside of their usual NHL duties, Roy played in 11 All-Star games to Lemieux’s 10. They played more than half of them together. Although Roy served on Canada’s 1998 Olympic team, it was Lemieux who helped Canada win gold in 2002.
All three teams retired the two numbers. After his retirement in 2003, the Avalanche retired No. 33 with the Canadiens following suit in 2008. The Penguins temporarily retired No. 66 before officially retiring the number after Lemieux’s second retirement in 2006. Due to the earlier retirement, Lemieux was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997 while Roy had to wait until 2006, Lemieux’s true final year.