|Born||September 13, 1976 |
Laval, Quebec, Canada
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Montreal Canadiens|
|NHL Draft||44th overall, 1994|
Jose Theodore (born José Nicholas Théodore on September 13, 1976) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers.
He 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, he played eight seasons in Montreal, where he won the Vezina and Hart trophies, both in 2002.
In 2006, Jose was traded to the Colorado Avalanche where he played for two full seasons & also played two seasons for the Washington Capitals.
Internationally, Jose won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 1996 World Junior Championships, where he was named the tournament's best goaltender. He also started for Team Canada at the 2001 World Championships and was a backup for the 2004 World Cup.
QMJHL career (1992–1996)
Jose played major junior in the QMJHL for four seasons with the St-Jean Lynx and Hull Olympiques.
At the age of 16, he began his major junior rookie season in 1992–93, splitting goaltending duties with Jean-Pascal Lemelin & assumed the starting position the following season in 1993–94, recording a 3.61 goals against average (GAA) with a 20–29–6 record.
He was drafted that off-season by the Montreal Canadiens 44th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
Jose 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, he 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.
He 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, Jose 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.
He 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.
Jose was injured and missed the first two rounds of the playoffs, but 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 who were led by future NHL goaltender Martin Biron. This was redemption for les Harfangs and Biron who were defeated by Theodore and the Olympiques in five games in the previous post-season. (1994-95)
Early NHL career (1996–1999)
Jose spent his first three seasons with the 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.
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)
In the 1999-2000 season, Jose became a full-time NHLer, sharing starts with Jeff Hackett.
In his first full NHL season, he 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, Jose 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.
He emerged as a world-class goalie in the 2001–02 season 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.
Jose 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.
In the 2002-03 season, he was unable to match his previous season's performance 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, Jose 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 Stanley Cup 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, Jose went overseas to play for Djurgården of the Swedish Elitserien.
On February 9, 2006 (when the NHL resumed played in the 2005-06 season), it was revealed that Jose 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 he 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.
Jose did not face any punishment from the NHL as he had applied and received approval for a therapeutic use exception, however, he receive a two-year suspension from international play.
In addition to the drug controversy, his 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.
At the time of the trade, Jose 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 eliminated 4-0 in the second round of playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks.
Jose'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 the 2007–08 season, however, and resumed the starting role with a 2.40 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Jose 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. He replaced long-time Capitals starter Olaf Kölzig 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, he 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 one loss to the New York Rangers in the opening round, he was pulled in favor of backup Semyon Varlamov.
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.
Jose 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 in the first round of playoffs as Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens won three consecutive games to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the series four games to three. He won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2010.
On October 1, 2010, he signed a one-year deal worth $1.1 million 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, Jose signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2011 to replace Tomas Vokoun as Florida's starting goaltender.
On December 8, 2011, Jose 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, however, the Panthers would ultimately lose Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils in double overtime, 3–2 with Jose 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.
Regular season and playoffs
|2007–08||Lake Erie Monsters||AHL||1||0||1||0||60||3||0||3.02||.875||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
Jose 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 quarter-finals by the United States.
In 2004, Jose played backup for Team Canada at the World Cup, seeing Canada defeat Finland in the final to capture the championship.
- Named to the Second All-Star Team in 1995 and 1996.
- Won the Ford Cup as top defensive player in 1995.
- Won the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP in 1995.
- Won the President's Cup with the Hull Olympiques in 1995.
- Named NHL Player of the Week for November 22–28, 1999 (shared with Jeremy Roenick)
- Won the Vezina Trophy in 2002.
- Won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2002.
- Won the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award in 2002.
- Named to the Second All-Star Team in 2002.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2004.
- Won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2010.
- Won a World Junior Championships gold medal with Team Canada in 1996.
- Named to the World Junior Championship All-Star Team in 1996.
- Named the World Junior Championships' Best Goaltender in 1996.
Jose's father, Theodore (Ted) Theodore, is of Macedonian descent while his mother is of Spanish descent.
On December 15, 2004, his father and half-brother pleaded guilty to charges of loansharking and possession of a restricted weapon. In February 2005, Ted was given a $30,000 fine, but no jail time.
Jose has one child, Romy (born March 22, 2006 with his wife Stéphanie Cloutier. Cloutier gave birth to their second child, Chace (who was born prematurely) in the summer of 2009. On August 20, 2009, the Washington Capitals and Jose's sister-in-law reported that his two-month-old son, Chace, had died.
He founded Saves for Kids, a charity to benefit the NICU at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In December 2013, TVA Sports announced that Jose would join the network as an analyst for its NHL coverage beginning in the 2014–15 season.