This is part of Colorado Avalanche day at PHT…
Well, at least Patrick Roy’s tenure with the Colorado Avalanche can never be described as boring.
Given his fiery nature and unorthodox decisions made behind the bench — pulling the goalie for an extra attacker well before the typical or conventional time in the final minute to a minute-and-a-half range, as an example — his sudden resignation as Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations earlier this month may seem, in a weird way, like an appropriately dramatic end to this latest chapter in his career.
(Remember how his time in Montreal ended??)
The hiring of Roy to the head coach’s position brought back one of the beloved characters and contributors to Avalanche Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. But he was also handed the aforementioned VP title, and the subsequent input in hockey decisions that comes with it, right away.
That title was reportedly critical to getting Roy to agree to become the new coach in Colorado. Despite the fact he was 10 years removed from playing the NHL game at the time of his hiring and had no previous coaching experience in the NHL.
Because you had better believe Roy never would have agreed to join the club without a guarantee that he will have a say in the makeup of the team. He will have a say in any future trades or signings.
But it was apparent that by the end, there was a disconnect between Roy and general manager Joe Sakic when it came to hockey decisions with the club — including at the 2016 NHL Draft, as per Mike Chambers of the Denver Post — and Roy’s statement when the big news broke confirmed as much.
“He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team’s performance. These conditions are not currently met,” said Roy of his role in the statement.
Roy came back to the Avalanche with eight years experience as GM and head coach with the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL. He had plenty of regular season success there and won a Memorial Cup. He had regular season success in his first season in Colorado, but the team fell in the playoffs and has since regressed drastically in the Western Conference.
Much like a player moving from junior into the professional game, the transition for a coach to the NHL is a difficult one and may take years, or time spent working on the craft in the minor leagues.
Roy is one of the greatest goalies to ever play hockey. And he may, some day, find himself back behind the bench with another NHL franchise. But, as a coach in the NHL, he’s had one playoff season, propped up by the combination of his team’s great shooting percentage and strong save percentage.
You can certainly argue that the VP title — and responsibilities and any clout that come with it — in addition to his coaching duties without having previously coached a game in the NHL falls under the category of ‘Too Much, Too Soon.’ And you can argue that both sides were to blame for it being this way. It’s added responsibility that could’ve perhaps been bestowed upon Roy at a future point in time — after he established himself as an NHL coach.