A player’s day with the Stanley Cup is, more than a time to celebrate, it’s a time to give back to those who have supported him and helped get him to where he is. Nicolas Roy will tell you.

The Vegas Golden Knights forward had 14 hours with the big trophy in his hometown of Amos last Saturday, and he put it to good use. “I’m still a bit on cloud nine,” he says when reached by phone on Thursday afternoon.

In this idea of ​​giving back, Nicolas Roy had priority stops in mind. The first: the Jardins du Patrimoine residence, where his grandmother lives. This one, from the top of her 84 years, still follows her grandson’s matches when possible, even if 4300 km separate him from her.

“She followed me all the time [in hockey],” says the 26-year-old athlete. “It was important for me to go show him the Cup. […] For her, coming to see the parade, moving around standing outside, was going to be more difficult. The best way to do it was to go see her at home. »

Since it’s not every day that the Stanley Cup comes to the Jardins du Patrimoine – or to Amos, for that matter – his grandmother was not the only one waiting for the arrival of the local champion. Many elders had gathered at the entrance.

“I took a picture with my grandmother in front of everyone,” Roy said. She was happy and very emotional. »

The Quebecer then drove towards the community of Pikogan, also known as the Abitibiwinni First Nation. This is where he wanted to start his parade.

“It’s just outside the town of Amos. Throughout the series, on social media, I saw posts from people who encouraged me, followed me, watched my games. There have always been hockey fans there. »

“I think it was a great opportunity to give them a little wink. It took us maybe 15 more minutes. It made them very happy. »

“I remember when I was a kid. I had role models, guys I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Seeing the children who arrive and look at you with wide eyes… You see that they are impressed, that they see you as their idol. »

The day continued with a family dinner, before ending with a private party with friends. Fourteen hours well invested, what. “If I had to do it over again, I would do it the same way. »

We learned on Wednesday that Quebecer Dominique Ducharme will be back in the National League next season as assistant coach to Bruce Cassidy with the Golden Knights. Nicolas Roy knows Ducharme well having had him as head coach with Junior Team Canada in 2017.

“I loved him as a coach, he drops as soon as we broach the subject. I have always had good comments from other players in relation to him. »

While the striker hasn’t “had time” to write to the new assistant since his appointment, he doesn’t hesitate to praise his merits, mentioning among other things his strength for individual tactics.

“Being an assistant coach, I think he’s going to help the forwards and the guys a lot to become better players, whether it’s in practice or to get little advice during games. He is a guy who communicates very well too. […] We are lucky to have him in Vegas. »

Ducharme was the Habs’ head coach during the 2021 playoff roster, which ended with a appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. Of this course, fans especially remember Artturi Lehkonen’s winning goal in the association final against… Vegas.

“I’m going to tease him a bit there!” laughs Roy. […] In my opinion, we will talk about this again for a bit! »

There are four years left on Nicolas Roy’s five-year contract with the Golden Knights. Now that his day with the Stanley Cup is behind him, with his celebrations “done”, he “can look forward,” he said. He has also started training for next season.

A season that Roy believes promises to be exciting as well, as the team will rely on a roster similar to the one that just won top honors. Another triumph, perhaps?

“Sure it would be really fun!” I don’t want to jinx myself either… but I think we’re going to have a very good team. »