Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passing on the Puck: Jonathan Roy Forges Ahead with Pop Music Career

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passing on the Puck: Jonathan Roy Forges Ahead with Pop Music Career

Article excerpt

Jonathan Roy trades hockey for song

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TORONTO - As the son of a legendary NHL goalie, singer-songwriter Jonathan Roy knows his family name offers a distinct career advantage, even in the music industry.

But his Hall of Fame father's reputation looms over everything he does, including the release of Roy's first major label album, "Mr. Optimist Blues," which includes several tracks written by '80s icon Corey Hart.

The sometimes-unearned attention has made the 27-year-old feel uncomfortable at times, especially at his earliest live shows.

"I didn't necessarily have the maturity for it," he says.

"And I didn't know anything about music."

At small gigs where he expected maybe 20 people to be in attendance -- and more involved in their own barroom chatter than him -- he felt it was "all eyes on me."

Even the tiniest performance flub plays a lot louder when you're the son of a four-time Stanley Cup winner. Living up to his father -- who led the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche to championships -- is something Roy has been forced to contend with since childhood.

"I didn't have a very good relationship with my dad growing up," he says.

"We butted heads a lot.... I was a little troublemaker, man. That's the truth."

While he was born into hockey, he also dabbled with music growing up.

His mother bought him a guitar, piano and drums when he was a teenager, and he later started toying with lyrics about failed love.

But hockey always came first -- and when he was focusing on hockey there was nothing else.

"I wanted to tell my dad: 'Hey, Dad, I unfortunately don't want to (follow) your footsteps. I don't want to play hockey,'" he says.

"But I didn't want to disappoint anybody, you know what I mean?"

He finally had that conversation after making headlines in 2008, while playing as a goaltender for the junior hockey Quebec Remparts with his father behind the bench as the coach.

A line brawl erupted during a game against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and despite being held back by an official, Roy skated across the length of the ice and pummelled rival netminder Bobby Nadeau, who didn't want to fight. …

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