As a goalkeeper for the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs and the Shawinigan Cataracts of the QMJHL, Dominic Roussel became accustomed to the role of being number one between the pipes. His career in the NHL, however, would be a stark contrast to the smooth flow he enjoyed as an amateur.
Roussel was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers who sent him to play for the Hershey Bears of the AHL in 1990-91. From a minor-league vantage point, he laid his plans to crack the Flyers' lineup as a backup to Ron Hextall and perhaps, someday, become the number-one man.
As part of the process, he hired his father, Andre, to serve as his agent and financial advisor. The elder Roussel had ambitious plans for his son. After the young netminder made the Flyers lineup and began to see more action, Andre demanded an excessive sum for his son's services. The Flyers balked at the demands, noting that they were higher than starter Ron Hextall's salary. Upon his father's advice, young Roussel sat out training camp--a move that prompted the Flyers to acquire backup Garth Snow. As a result, Roussel eventually signed for considerably less money and was then banished, for the most part, to the press box and to the AHL.
In the process, Roussel's credibility had suffered a major setback. In 1996, he was picked up by the Winnipeg Jets where, with sagging confidence and off-ice distractions, he appeared in only seven games. Away from the rink a legal squabble emerged between Roussel and his father over the management of funds. The younger Roussel fired his father as his agent and launched a lawsuit to recover assets controlled by his father who had secured power of attorney over his son's affairs. While the legal skirmish unfolded, Roussel's hockey career fell apart -- for a time.
While reassembling the pieces, he played for a season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. Then, after successfully reclaiming his assets from his father, Roussel joined the Canadian National Team with the hope of catching some attention from the NHL.
The move worked. After a very successful season with the Nationals, he got himself traded to the Nashville Predators who flipped him to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in time for the start of the 1998-99 campaign. Since that time, Roussel has served as the Ducks' backup behind starter Guy Hebert and has recovered his credibility and his financial wellbeing.