The background and origin of NY Islanders HC Patrick Roy's eagle or duck quote

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Patrick Roy's postgame interviews have already proven to be a must-watch for New York Islanders fans. He's detailed, he's quirky, he's passionate. It's entertaining and last night it was also educational.

Roy was asked about how Bo Horvat stood up for his linemate Mathew Barzal by challenging Simon Benoit in a rare fight for the top-line center. "He's a leader on this team," said Roy to the media. "Leaders always take care of their teammates. In life, you could be an eagle or duck. He was an eagle."

The quote quickly took hold on social media, but it's not a Roy original.

The basic concept is that we must decide each day whether to be ducks or eagles.

The eagle mentality is attributed to personal growth guru Wayne Dyer through the story told by a gentleman named Harry MacKay about a cab driver named Wally whom he had met coming from home from the airport. Wally changed his outlook on his profession after hearing Dyer do a radio interview promoting a book called "You'll see it when you believe it."

Dyer's message was, "Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd."

Prior to hearing that message, Wally complained consistently with the rest of the drivers about any number of things that annoyed them but then started polishing his car, having a mission statement for customers, and treating his yellow cab like a limo service.

The story has since been used for leadership training and by motivational speakers for quite some time - and now hockey coaches! Who knows where Roy first heard this analogy and whether it had anything to do with Wally, the cab driver, but it obviously stuck with him and is something that resonates as a teaching tool for the head coach.

Do you want to quack and complain about things and just cluster with the rest of the flock or take the opportunity to soar above everyone else and rise to the occasion?

This concludes our ROY, I mean, TED talk.