Open main menu

José Nicolas Théodore (born September 13, 1976) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers.

José Théodore
Jose Theodore 2012-03-09.JPG
With the Panthers in 2012.
Born (1976-09-13) September 13, 1976 (age 42)
St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Right
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Djurgårdens IF
Colorado Avalanche
Washington Capitals
Minnesota Wild
Florida Panthers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 44th overall, 1994
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1995–2013

Théodore played major junior in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), where he won a President's Cup as QMJHL champions and competed in the Memorial Cup with the Hull Olympiques in 1995. He won both the Ford Cup as the top defensive player and Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP in 1995 and is a two-time QMJHL Second Team All-Star. Drafted 44th overall by the Canadiens in 1994, Théodore played eight seasons in Montreal, where he won the Vezina and Hart trophies, both in 2002. In 2006, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, where he played two full seasons. Théodore also played two seasons for the Washington Capitals. Internationally, Théodore won a gold medal with Canada at the 1996 World Junior Championships, where he was named the tournament's best goaltender. He also started for Canada at the 2001 World Championships and was a backup for the 2004 World Cup.

Contents

Playing careerEdit

As a youth, Théodore played in the 1990 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the Richelieu 47 minor ice hockey team.[1]

QMJHL career (1992–1996)Edit

Théodore played major junior in the QMJHL for four seasons with the St-Jean Lynx and Hull Olympiques. At age 16, he began his major junior rookie season in 1992–93, splitting goaltending duties with Jean-Pascal Lemelin.[2] He assumed the starting position the following season in 1993–94, recording a 3.61 goals against average (GAA) with a 20–29–6 record. Théodore was drafted that off-season by the Montreal Canadiens 44th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.

Théodore returned to the Lynx upon his draft in 1994–95, but was traded early in the season to the Hull Olympiques. In 43 games with his new team in the regular season, Théodore posted a 2.97 GAA with a 27-14-1 record to be awarded the Ford Cup as the top defensive player and be named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team. Théodore went on to lead the Olympiques to the President's Cup as QMJHL champions, winning the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP. Earning a berth in the 1995 Memorial Cup, the Olympiques finished in last place in the tournament.

Following the 1995 major junior playoffs, Théodore made his professional debut, being assigned to the American Hockey League (AHL), where he played one game for the Fredericton Canadiens, Montreal's minor league affiliate, in the 1995 Calder Cup playoffs.

Théodore played his fourth and final QMJHL season with the Olympiques in 1995–96. Although he was named to his second consecutive Second All-Star Team, the Olympiques failed to defend their QMJHL title. Théodore was injured and missed the first two rounds of the playoffs. He returned later in the semi-final against les Harfangs de Beauport, who were coached by former Hull Olympiques' coach Alain Vigneault. The Olympiques were defeated in five games by les Harfangs, which were led by future NHL goaltender Martin Biron. This was redemption for les Harfangs and Biron, who were defeated by Théodore and the Olympiques in five games in the previous post-season, in 1994–95.

Early NHL career (1996–1999)Edit

Théodore spent his first three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens organization, splitting time in the NHL and the AHL, with Montreal's minor league affiliate, the Fredericton Canadiens. He made his Stanley Cup playoffs debut in 1997, winning a 4–3 triple overtime game against the New Jersey Devils, making 56 saves.[3] The following year, he appeared in three playoff games for the Canadiens against the Buffalo Sabres, despite not playing in any regular season games for them that campaign.

Rise to prominence (1999–2004)Edit

Théodore became a full-time NHLer in 1999–2000, sharing starts with Jeff Hackett. In his first full NHL season, Théodore posted a 23–25–7 record with a 2.40 GAA and .914 save percentage, along with three shutouts. He assumed the starting role over Hackett the following season in 2000–01 and went 20–29–5 in 59 games. During a game on January 2, 2001, Théodore became the sixth goaltender to directly score a goal when he attempted to clear the puck from the defensive zone against the New York Islanders and scored into the empty net, which was vacated by John Vanbiesbrouck for the extra attacker. He became the first NHL goalie to directly score a goal and record a shutout in the same game, as the Canadiens defeated the Islanders 3–0. But he was the second goaltender to be credited with a goal and a shutout in the same game, after Damian Rhodes, who was credited with a goal in a 6–0 win on January 2, 1999.

Théodore emerged as a world-class goaltender in 2001–02, when he turned in a Vezina- and Hart Memorial Trophy-winning performance with a 30–24–10 record, 2.11 GAA and .931 save percentage.[4] He led the Canadiens into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference, and was a pivotal factor in upsetting the top-ranked Boston Bruins in the first round. He became an immediate fan favorite in the city of Montreal. However, the Canadiens were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes the following round in six games.

Théodore was unable to match his previous season's performance in 2002–03 and ended the season with significantly lower statistics (2.90 GAA and .909 save percentage) to go with a losing record that saw the Canadiens unable to make the playoffs. He bounced back in 2003–04 with a GAA of 2.34 and save percentage of .919. During the season, he participated with the Canadiens in the 2003 Heritage Classic, the NHL's first ever outdoor hockey game. The game was held at Commonwealth Stadium against the Edmonton Oilers, a game which Montreal won 4–3. Playing in sub-zero temperatures, Théodore famously wore a toque over his goalie helmet. He ended the season with a second 30-win campaign, helping the Canadiens qualify for the 2004 playoffs as the seventh seed. They upset the Boston Bruins for the second time in three years in a seven-game opening series, before being eliminated by the top-seeded, eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in four.

Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Théodore went overseas to play for Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elitserien.

Post-lockout (2005–2013)Edit

When NHL play resumed in 2005–06, it was revealed on February 9, 2006, he had failed a random drug test conducted prior to the 2006 Winter Olympics. The failed test was later revealed to be caused by a prescription hair loss medication Propecia, which Théodore had been taking legally for eight years. Propecia contains the drug finasteride, which can be used as a masking agent for the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone among weight-trainers and bodybuilders, but it is not a performance-enhancing drug in itself. Théodore did not face any punishment from the NHL because he had applied and received approval for a therapeutic use exception.[5] However, he did receive a two-year suspension from international play.[6]

 
José Theodore with the Washington Capitals in 2009–10.

In addition to the drug controversy, Théodore's play with the Canadiens was marked by a significant drop and he was being outperformed by backup Cristobal Huet. Consequently, he was traded at the trade deadline to the Colorado Avalanche on March 8, 2006, in exchange for Swiss goaltender David Aebischer.[7] At the time of the trade, Théodore was on the injured reserve; he strained his Achilles tendon after slipping on the winter ice outside his home. He came off the injured reserve with enough time to play in the last five regular season Avalanche games. His 3.04 GAA with the Avalanche combined with his 3.46 rating earned from his previous play with the Canadiens marked the worst GAA of his career. He was nonetheless designated the starting goalie for the playoffs over Peter Budaj, playing in all nine of Colorado's games over the first two rounds before the Avalanche were swept in four games in the second round by the Anaheim Ducks.

Théodore's play did not see much improvement the following season, in 2006–07, as he lost the starting role to Budaj with a 13–15–1 record, 3.26 GAA and .891 save percentage. He saw a resurgence in 2007–08 and resumed the starting role with a 2.40 GAA and .910 save percentage. On July 1, 2008, he parted ways with the Avalanche in the off-season and signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Washington Capitals.[8] He replaced long-time Capitals starter Olaf Kölzig and the previous season's acquisition (as well as former Canadiens teammate) Cristobal Huet, both having departed in free agency. Joining a team that featured young talents Alexander Semin, Nicklas Bäckström, Mike Green and Alexander Ovechkin, Théodore helped lead the Capitals to a division title and entered the 2009 playoffs as the second seed. However, after allowing four goals in a Game 1 loss to the New York Rangers in the opening round, he was pulled in favour of backup Semyon Varlamov.[9] In 2010, Théodore had a 30–7–7 record and tied a Capitals franchise record for consecutive wins (10) and ended the season on a 20–0–4 streak. He started the playoffs but was pulled in Game 2 and replaced again by Varlamov. Théodore did not play any more games as the Capitals were eliminated in seven games in the first round of playoffs, as Jaroslav Halák and the Montreal Canadiens won three consecutive games to overcome a 3–1 deficit to win the series four games to three.[10] Théodore won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2010.

On October 1, 2010, Théodore signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Minnesota Wild to serve as backup to Niklas Bäckström. He earned his 250th career victory on January 2, 2011, with a 6–5 overtime victory against the Phoenix Coyotes.

After an impressive year as a backup in Minnesota, Théodore signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2011, to replace Tomáš Vokoun as Florida's starting goaltender.[11] On December 8, 2011, Théodore played in his 600th regular season NHL game, against the Boston Bruins. He recorded 22 wins during the season, as he helped the Panthers return to the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Despite having home ice advantage in the first round, the Panthers would lose Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils in double overtime, 3–2, with Théodore stopping 33 of 36 shots. He would spend one more year as Florida's starter, which was cut short by injury, and then he was not retained by the club in the summer of 2013.

International playEdit

Medal record
Representing   Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
  1996

Théodore played for Team Canada at the 1996 World Junior Championships in Boston during his fourth major junior season. He posted a 4–0–0 record with a 1.50 GAA to earn Best Goaltender and Tournament All-Star honours, en route to Canada's fourth straight gold medal at the tournament.

Théodore made his debut for Canada's men's team in the 2001 World Championship. He recorded two shutouts and a 1.63 GAA, but Canada was defeated in the quarter-finals by the United States. In 2004, he played backup for Team Canada at the World Cup, seeing Canada defeat Finland in the final to capture the championship.

Personal lifeEdit

Théodore's father, Theodore (Ted) Théodore , is of Macedonian descent, while his mother is of Spanish descent.[12] On December 15, 2004, his father and half-brother pleaded guilty to charges of loansharking and possession of a restricted weapon.[13] In February 2005, the 71-year-old Ted Théodore was issued a $30,000 fine, but no jail time.

Théodore has one child, Romy (born March 22, 2006), with his wife Stéphanie Cloutier. Cloutier gave birth to their second child, Chace (born prematurely) in the summer of 2009. On August 20, 2009, the Washington Capitals and Théodore's sister-in-law reported his two-month-old son, Chace, had died.[14]

Théodore founded Saves for Kids, a charity to benefit the NICU at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.[15]

In December 2013, TVA Sports announced Théodore would join the network as an analyst for its NHL coverage beginning in the 2014–15 season.[16] In 2014, he joined the staff of the Journal de Montréal as a hockey columnist.[17]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1991–92 Richelieu Riverains QAAA 24 9 13 2 1440 96 0 3.99 5 2 3 295 26 0 5.28
1992–93 Saint-Jean Lynx QMJHL 34 12 16 2 1775 111 0 3.78 .871 3 0 2 175 11 0 3.77 .911
1993–94 Saint-Jean Lynx QMJHL 57 20 29 6 3225 194 0 3.61 .882 5 1 4 296 18 0 3.65 .910
1994–95 Saint-Jean Lynx QMJHL 14 5 8 1 833 67 0 4.83 .860
1994–95 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 43 27 14 1 2521 126 5 3.00 .901 21 15 6 1263 59 1 2.80 .898
1994–95 Hull Olympiques MC 3 0 3 150 13 0 5.20
1995–96 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 48 33 11 2 2807 158 0 3.38 .889 5 2 3 299 20 0 4.01 .905
1995–96 Montréal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 0 9 1 0 6.69 .500
1996–97 Montréal Canadiens NHL 16 5 6 2 821 53 0 3.87 .896 2 1 1 168 7 0 2.51 .935
1996–97 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 26 12 12 0 1469 87 0 3.55 .898
1997–98 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 53 20 23 8 3053 145 2 2.85 .918 4 1 3 237 13 0 3.28 .901
1997–98 Montréal Canadiens NHL 3 0 1 120 1 0 0.50 .971
1998–99 Montréal Canadiens NHL 18 4 12 0 913 50 1 3.29 .877
1998–99 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 27 12 13 2 1609 77 2 2.87 .917 13 8 5 694 35 1 3.03 .926
1999–2000 Montréal Canadiens NHL 30 12 13 2 1655 58 5 2.10 .919
2000–01 Montréal Canadiens NHL 59 20 29 5 3298 141 2 2.57 .909
2000–01 Québec Citadelles AHL 3 3 0 0 180 9 0 3.00 .886
2001–02 Montréal Canadiens NHL 67 30 24 10 3864 136 7 2.11 .931 12 6 6 686 35 0 3.06 .915
2002–03 Montréal Canadiens NHL 57 20 31 6 3419 165 2 2.90 .908
2003–04 Montréal Canadiens NHL 67 33 28 5 3961 150 6 2.27 .919 11 4 7 678 27 1 2.39 .919
2004–05 Djurgårdens IF SEL 17 1024 42 0 2.46 .917 12 728 27 0 2.23 .922
2005–06 Montréal Canadiens NHL 38 17 15 5 2114 122 0 3.46 .881
2005–06 Colorado Avalanche NHL 5 1 3 1 296 15 0 3.04 .887 9 4 5 573 29 0 3.04 .902
2006–07 Colorado Avalanche NHL 33 13 15 1 1748 95 0 3.26 .891
2007–08 Colorado Avalanche NHL 53 28 21 3 3028 123 3 2.44 .910 10 4 6 514 27 0 3.15 .906
2007–08 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 1 0 1 0 59 3 0 3.02 .875
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 57 32 17 5 3287 157 2 2.87 .900 2 0 1 97 6 0 3.72 .818
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 47 30 7 7 2586 121 1 2.81 .911 2 0 1 81 5 0 3.70 .875
2010–11 Minnesota Wild NHL 32 15 11 3 1793 81 1 2.71 .916
2011–12 Florida Panthers NHL 53 22 16 11 3049 125 3 2.46 .917 5 2 2 268 11 1 2.46 .919
2012–13 Florida Panthers NHL 15 4 6 3 766 42 0 3.29 .893
NHL totals 643 286 254 30 39 36,607 1635 33 2.68 .909 56 21 30 3185 148 2 2.79 .912

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1996 Canada WJC 4 4 0 0 240 6 0 1.50
2000 Canada WC 8 5 3 0 478 13 2 1.63 .932
2004 Canada WCH DNP

AwardsEdit

QMJHLEdit

NHLEdit

InternationalEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  2. ^ "1992-93 St-Jean Lynx [QMJHL]". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Jose Theodore (1995-present)". HockeyGoalies. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  4. ^ "Jose Theodore named NHL MVP". CBC News. June 27, 2002. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Theodore's hair tonic causes positive test". The Sports Network. February 10, 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ Diligent Media Corporation (March 18, 2006). "Canadian star Theodore slapped with 2-year ban". Diligent Media Corporation. Retrieved October 28, 2006.
  7. ^ "Habs acquire Aebischer from Colorado". canadiens.nhl.com. March 8, 2006. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "2008 UFA Signings". TSN. July 20, 2008. Archived from the original on November 3, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Benching in game two surprises Theodore". The Washington Post. April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  10. ^ "Jose Theodore's Game 2 benching". Washington Post. April 17, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "TSN Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "How Many Times Has The Shoe Been On The Other Foot?". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Ted Nicholas Theodore". Geocities.com. March 20, 2009. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ "Goaltender Theodore's two-month-old son passes away". The Sports Network. August 20, 2009. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Theodore's Saves for Kids". Washington Capitals. March 20, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ "Hickey on Hockey notebook: Habs fail to earn day off". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ José Théodore se joint au Journal, by Denis Poissant, in Le Journal de Montréal; published October 20, 2014; retrieved July 3, 2019

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dominik Hašek
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
2002
Succeeded by
Martin Brodeur
Preceded by
Joe Sakic
Winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy
2002
Succeeded by
Peter Forsberg
Preceded by
Marty Turco
Winner of the Crozier Award
2002
Succeeded by
Marty Turco
Preceded by
Steve Sullivan
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
2010
Succeeded by
Ian Laperrière