Where Are They Now: Dominic Roussel

 
 
Selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 1988 NHL Draft, goaltender Dominic Roussel went on to play all or parts of five seasons with the Flyers, including a two-season spell as a full-time or split-time starter in the early-to-mid-1990s. He showed promise as an NHL starter but, unfortunately, the team was in a transitional phase in which the club missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons. 
 
 "My favorite Flyers memory was my first win in the NHL, when we played Quebec at the Spectrum," he recalls. "That was a special game for me."
 
On the night of Oct. 17,1991, the Flyers hosted the Nordiques. Ken Wregget got the start in goal for Philadelphia. However, after first period goals by Owen Nolan and Kip Miller were supplemented by an early second-period tally by Mark Vermette, Quebec opened up a 3-0 lead. 
 
Looking to change the momentum, Flyers head coach Paul Holmgren made a change in goal, sending in Roussel. The  21-year-old native of Hull, Quebec, delivered. He blanked the Nordiques over the remaining 37:06 of game action, turning aside all 12 shots he faced. 
 
In the meantime, back-to-back goals by the late Andrei Lomakin and one by 19-year-old center Mike Ricci tied the score by the end of the second period. In the third period, closely spaced goals by Mark Pederson and Brad Jones put the Flyers ahead. Roussel stopped seven shots in the final stanza to seal a 5-3 victory. The rookie was named the game's second star. 
 
Over 17 games as a rookie, Roussel posted a very respectable 2.60 goals against average and .908 save percentage in a still high-scoring NHL era despite posting a losing record (7-8-2). Over the next two seasons, Roussel split starting goaltending duties for the Flyers with Swedish netminder Tommy Söderström.
 
Later, "Roo" settled into a backup role after Ron Hextall returned to the Flyers in 1994-95 via trade with the New York Islanders for Söderström. When the Flyers acquired Garth Snow in the 1995 offseason, Roussel started the 1995-96 season second on the depth chart. However, he was soon usurped by Snow as Hextall's main backup and was traded to the Winnipeg Jets later in the season. Veteran goalie Tim Cheveldae came the other way in the deal, and the Flyers assigned him to the AHL's Hershey Bears. Roussel appeared in seven games for the Jets.


Roussel returned to the Flyers as a free agent in the summer of 1996. Still caught behind Hextall and Snow on the depth chart, Roussel became the starting goaltender for the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms in their inaugural season. Later, when 1995 Flyers first-round pick Brian Boucher reached the professional level and Phantoms goaltender Neil Little began to come into his own as an AHL netminder, Roussel was traded again. The Flyers dealt Roussel and minor league defenseman Jeff Staples to the expansion Nashville Predators in exchange for a 1998 seventh-round pick.

 
In 1997-98, Roussel spent a year with the Canadian national team playing in various international tournaments. He also played in Germany's DEL for the Rosenheim Star Bulls. Roo then returned to North America, spending two-plus seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and part of one season with the Edmonton Oilers. He finished his pro career in Germany for the Frankfurt Lions in 2002-03. With wear-and-tear on his body taking a toll, "Roo" retired in 2003.

For his NHL career with the Flyers, Roussel posted a career 62-49-14 record, 3.18 goals against average, .895 save percentage and five shutouts in 139 games. In his lone Stanley Cup playoff appearance, Roussel stopped all eight shots he faced in 23 minute of relief of Ron Hextall in a 5-2 loss in Game 2 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals.
 
"It is great to wear any uniform in the NHL, but I am very proud of my years with the Flyers. It's an amazing organization with a great culture," said Roussel.
 
In the years since retiring as active player, Roussel has kept himself very busy. With an eye on starting a coaching career, he opened a goaltending school and also started a business as a personal trainer. 
 
"Working out was a huge part of my life and I've always planned on being a coach one day, I was coaching goalies and I started training them in the gym. That's how I started I now work with a semi-pro team, the Petrolier du Nord and with minor hockey associations with kids from ages 7 to 18, I also coached [still-active NHL goalies] Ben Bishop and Craig Anderson," Roussel said.
 
Apart from his hockey and fitness ventures, Roussel operates a company called Visuel Concept. He runs it together with his wife, Marie. 
 
"We help our clients to refocus their business toward a more effective plan using all the platforms available, including social media management, and graphic design; things like business cards, websites, fliers, posters, social media profiles, road sign ads and other visual elements," he said.
 
In addition to an eye for visual detail, Roussel has an ear for music. For much of his life, music has been a passion. He is a multi-instrumentalist who was once pictured in the Flyers Wives Carnival program sitting behind his drum kit. 
 
"I play guitar and drums and took lessons for both. I can also play bass. These days, I play with my brother on Friday evenings," said Roussel, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Feb. 22 of this year.
 
KEEP UP WITH DOMINIC ROUSSEL
 
Visuel Concept Corp.: http://visuelconcept.ca/ 
Twitter:  @dominic_roussel