José Théodore

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José Théodore
Jose Theodore 2012-03-09.JPG
With the Panthers in 2012.
Born (1976-09-13) September 13, 1976 (age 37)
Laval, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Right
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
Montreal Canadiens
Djurgården
Colorado Avalanche
Washington Capitals
Minnesota Wild
Florida Panthers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 44th overall, 1994
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1995–present

José Nicholas Theodore (/ˈθ.ədɔər/THEE-ə-dohr or /ˈt.ədɔr/TAY-ə-dor; born September 13, 1976) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender currently an Unrestricted Free Agent. He most recently played for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

Theodore 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 Montreal Canadiens in 1994, Theodore 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. Theodore also played two seasons for the Washington Capitals. Internationally, Theodore has won a gold with Team Canada at the 1996 World Junior Championships, winning the tournament's Best Goaltender award. He also started for Team Canada at the 2001 World Championships and was a backup for the 2004 World Cup.

Playing career[edit]

QMJHL career (1992–1996)[edit]

Theodore played major junior in the QMJHL for five seasons with the St-Jean Lynx and Hull Olympiques. At 16 years old, he began his major junior rookie season in 1992–93, splitting goaltending duties with Jean-Pascal Lemelin.[1] 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. Theodore was drafted that off-season by the Montreal Canadiens 44th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.

He 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, Theodore 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. Theodore 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, however, finished in last place.

Following the 1995 major junior playoffs, Theodore 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.

Theodore 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 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Early NHL career (1996–1999)[edit]

Theodore spent his first three seasons with the Canadiens organization splitting time in the NHL and the American Hockey League (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.[2] The following year, he appeared in 3 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]

Theodore became a full-time NHLer in 1999–2000, sharing starts with Jeff Hackett. In his first full NHL season, Theodore posted a 23-25-7 record with a 2.40 goals against average (GAA) and .914 save percentage, along with 3 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, Theodore 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 beat 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.

Theodore emerged as a world-class goalie 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. 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. The Canadiens were, however, eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes the following round in six games.

Theodore 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 versus the Edmonton Oilers, a game which Montreal won 4-3. Playing in sub-zero temperatures, Theodore 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, Theodore went overseas to play for Djurgården of the Swedish Elitserien.

Post-lockout (2005–present)[edit]

When NHL play resumed in 2005–06, it was revealed on February 9, 2006, that he 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 Theodore had been taking legally for 8 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. Theodore did not face any punishment from the NHL as he had applied and received approval for a therapeutic use exception.[3] Theodore did, however, receive a two-year suspension from international play.[4]

José Theodore with the Washington Capitals in 2009–10.

In addition to the drug controversy, Theodore's play with the Canadiens was marked by a significant drop and he was being outperformed by backup Cristobal Huet. Consequently, he was dealt at the trade deadline to the Colorado Avalanche on March 8, 2006, in exchange for Swiss goaltender David Aebischer.[5] At the time of the trade, Theodore 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 9 games over the first 2 rounds before the Avalanche were eliminated.

Theodore'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, however, and resumed the starting role with a 2.40 GAA and .910 save percentage. He parted ways with the Avalanche in the off-season and signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Washington Capitals on July 1, 2008.[6] He replaced long-time Capitals starter Olaf Kolzig and the previous season's acquisition (as well as former Canadiens teammate), Cristobal Huet, who had both departed in free agency. Joining a team that featured young talents Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and, primarily, Alexander Ovechkin, Theodore helped lead the Capitals to a division title and entered the 2009 playoffs as the second seed. However, after allowing 4 goals in a game one loss to the New York Rangers in the opening round, he was pulled in favor of backup Semyon Varlamov.[7] In 2010 he 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 and did not play any more games as the Capitals were eliminated in seven games by the Montreal Canadiens.[8] Theodore won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2010.

On October 1, 2010, he signed a one-year deal worth $1.1M with the Minnesota Wild, as the backup goaltender to Niklas Backstrom. 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, Theodore signed a two-year/$3 million contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2011, to replace Tomas Vokoun as Florida's starting goaltender.[9] On December 8, 2011, Jose played in his 600th Regular Season NHL game against the Boston Bruins. Theodore 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 the Panthers would lose Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils in double overtime, 3-2, with Theodore 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 in summer 2013.

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 1996

Theodore 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.

He 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 quarterfinals 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 life[edit]

His father, Theodore (Ted) Theodore, is of Macedonian descent,[10] while his mother is of Spanish descent.[11] On December 15, 2004, his father and half-brother pleaded guilty to charges of loansharking and possession of a restricted weapon.[12] In February 2005, the 71-year-old Ted Theodore was given a $30,000 fine, but no jail time.

Theodore has one child, Romy (born March 22, 2006), with his wife Stéphanie Cloutier. Cloutier gave birth to their second child, Chace (born premature) in the summer of 2009. On August 20, 2009, the Washington Capitals and Theodore's sister-in-law reported that his two-month-old son, Chace, had died.[13]

Theodore founded Saves for Kids, a charity to benefit the NICU at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.[14]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1992–93 St-Jean Lynx QMJHL 34 12 16 2 1776 112 0 3.78 .876 3 0 2 175 11 0 3.77
1993–94 St-Jean Lynx QMJHL 57 20 29 6 3225 194 0 3.61 5 1 4 296 18 0 3.65
1994–95 St-Jean Lynx QMJHL 15 5 8 1 900 194 0 4.80
1994–95 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 43 27 14 1 2448 121 5 2.97 21 15 6 1263 59 1 2.80
1994–95 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 1 0 1 60 3 0 3.00 .897
1995–96 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 48 33 11 2 2807 158 0 3.38 5 2 3 299 20 0 4.01 .889
1995–96 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 0 9 1 0 6.67 .500
1996–97 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 26 12 12 0 1469 87 0 3.55 .902
1996–97 Montreal Canadiens NHL 16 5 6 2 821 53 0 3.87 .896 2 1 1 168 7 0 2.50 .939
1997–98 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 53 20 23 8 3053 145 2 2.85 .918 4 1 3 237 100 0 3.29 .901
1997–98 Montreal Canadiens NHL 3 0 1 120 1 0 0.50 .972
1998–99 Montreal 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 2 5 693 35 1 3.03 .926
1999–00 Montreal Canadiens NHL 30 12 13 2 1655 58 5 2.10 .919
2000–01 Quebec Citadelles AHL 3 3 0 0 180 9 0 3.00 .886
2000–01 Montreal Canadiens NHL 59 20 29 5 3298 141 2 2.57 .909
2001–02 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 30 24 10 3864 136 7 2.11 .931 12 6 6 686 35 0 3.06 .915
2002–03 Montreal Canadiens NHL 57 20 31 6 3419 165 2 2.90 .909
2003–04 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 33 28 5 3960 150 6 2.27 .919 11 4 7 678 27 1 2.39 .919
2004–05 Djurgården SEL 17 1024 42 0 2.46 .916 11 728 27 0 2.23 .922
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 38 17 15 0 2114 122 0 3.46 .889
2005–06 Colorado Avalanche NHL 5 1 3 0 296 15 0 3.04 .887 9 4 5 573 29 0 3.03 .902
2006–07 Colorado Avalanche NHL 33 13 15 0 1748 95 0 3.26 .891
2007–08 Colorado Avalanche NHL 53 28 21 0 3028 123 3 2.44 .910 8 4 4 435 20 0 2.75 .915
2007–08 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 1 0 1 0 60 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 3.71 .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 648 286 254 88 36,606 1635 33 2.68 .909 56 21 30 3185 148 2 2.79 .912

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1996 Canada WJC 4 4 0 0 240 6 0 1.50
2001 Canada WC 8 5 3 0 478 13 2 1.63
Junior totals 4 4 0 0 240 6 0 1.50
Senior totals 8 5 3 0 478 13 2 1.63

Awards[edit]

QMJHL[edit]

NHL[edit]

International[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1992-93 St-Jean Lynx [QMJHL]". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  2. ^ "Jose Theodore (1995-present)". HockeyGoalies. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  3. ^ TSN.ca (2006-02-10). "Theodore's hair tonic causes positive test". TSN.ca. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  4. ^ Diligent Media Corporation (2006-03-18). "Canadian star Theodore slapped with 2-year ban". Diligent Media Corporation. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  5. ^ "Habs acquire Aebischer from Colorado". canadiens.nhl.com. 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  6. ^ "2008 UFA Signings". TSN. 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Benching in game two surprises Theodore". Washington Post. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Jose Theodore's Game 2 benching". Washington Post. 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  9. ^ "TSN Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Vogel, Mike (2008-01-13). "JOSE THEODORE". Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  11. ^ "How Many Times Has The Shoe Been On The Other Foot?". Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  12. ^ "Ted Nicholas Theodore". Geocities.com. 2009-03-20. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  13. ^ "Goaltender Theodore's two-month-old son passes away". The Sports Network. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  14. ^ "Theodore's Saves for Kids". Washington Capitals. 2010-03-20. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dominik Hašek
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
2002
Succeeded by
Martin Brodeur
Preceded by
Joe Sakic
Winner of the Hart 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