The Colorado Avalanche made it official on Thursday by naming Patrick Roy their new head coach while also giving him the key title of vice president of hockey operations.
So what does it all mean?
With the big press conference coming next week, many were left to wonder how the organization will handle the distribution of power (among many other questions). Let’s take a look at some of the conjecture and a few of the inevitable jokes.
One pressing question is how much say Roy will get in personnel decisions. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun notes the VP title is important in getting him to come on board and that he’ll have some say in the process.
Sakic and Roy. Back together. Running the Avalanche.
And yes, I include Roy in the “running the Avalanche” category because that’s exactly what he’ll be doing.
But what if the two legends clash on key decisions? The buck will (allegedly?) ultimately stop with Sakic, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reports.
Greg Sherman remains the GM – nominally, at least – but most observers believe his role will be marginalized. Down Goes Brown goes to professional wrestling for an interesting analogy.
Naturally, a lot of people made jokes about Roy’s famous exchange with Jeremy Roenick, where the outspoken goalie joked that he couldn’t hear what JR was saying because his Stanley Cup rings were plugging his ears. Plenty of people referenced that moment with jokes, but we’ll limit it to Fear the Fin’s offering.
Finally, announcer Daryl Reaugh wraps things up with an interesting observation stemming from his 1984 NHL Draft class.
Reaugh’s probably the most verbose player from that class, at least.
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?