This is part of Colorado Avalanche day at PHT…
The start of NHL training camps are less than a month away and the Colorado Avalanche are sitting here without a head coach after Patrick Roy suddenly walked away from the organization earlier this month.
Given the lack of success the team had on the ice the past two seasons it is probably not the worst thing for the team to get a fresh voice and some new ideas behind the bench. The team was bad in a lot of key areas and wasn’t really showing any signs of noticeable improvement. In most other organizations the coaching change probably would have been made by the team itself earlier in the summer in a more routine manner.
But while the change could end up being a positive development, the timing of all of this is obviously not great. Not only because other head coaching candidates have already been hired by other teams this summer, but the new coach will only have a couple of weeks to get to know his players, develop a system, and start putting things into place for the season.
Most new coaches have an entire summer to do all of that preparation. This yet-to-be-named coach will probably have a couple of weeks since the Avalanche are still in the early stages of the interview process.
Early reports from the Denver Post have the Avalanche focussing on a lot of new faces, including Jared Bednar, currently the head coach of the AHL’s Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters (previously the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets). Bednar also has some connections to some folks in the Avalanche organization, including assistant general manager Chris MacFarland who previously held the same position in the Columbus organization.
Other names mentioned included Travis Green, the head coach of the AHL’s Utica Comets, Washington Capitals assistant coach Lane Lambert, and former Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel, currently an assistant for the New York Rangers. Arniel has one-and-a-half years of head coaching experience in the NHL, all with Columbus, where his teams won only 45 out of 123 games.
The other name to throw into the ring, mainly because he is a reasonably big name with a lot of experience in the NHL, is of course Bob Hartley who was fired by the Calgary Flames earlier this summer. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 2014-15. He also spent four-and-a-half years in Colorado in the late 90s and early 2000s and was the coach of their 2001 Stanley Cup winning team which had been making its way back into the organization one player at a time in recent years. At this point, there is nothing to indicate that he is a serious candidate for the job.
With that said, who do you think should the Avalanche look to as a replacement for Roy this season?