As Canadiens owner Geoff Molson begins the process to find a French-speaking general manager to work with new executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, a franchise legend has thrown his hat in the ring.
Patrick Roy as Canadiens GM? The Hall of Fame goaltender is certainly interested in returning to his old team to help turn it around.
“Would I be interested? Of course,” Roy told TVA Sports and Radio-Canada on Tuesday, via CTV. “But, at the same time, I am aware that it is a process and that there are several very good candidates who will be in the running. But if I get a call, I’ll definitely listen.”
The Canadiens fired GM Marc Bergevin and assistant GM Trevor Timmins on Sunday and saw AGM Scott Mellanby resign. It was a housecleaning for a team with a 6-15-2 record and one that, in the eyes of the owner, is in need of a “fresh start.”
Since abruptly resigning as Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations in 2016, Roy has been back as GM and head coach of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts. He had previously served in those roles as well since retiring from the NHL and has been part of the ownership group since 1997.
“Decisions were made over the weekend, and if the phone rings, it will ring,” Roy added. “Otherwise, we will continue to do what we do, it’s not more complicated than that.”
Roy has been tied to NHL jobs in the past, including the Canadiens, but a return to Montreal in any capacity has not come to fruition. In April, he hired Neil Glasberg, who represents a number of coaches including Gerard Gallant and Mike Sullivan, with an eye on NHL opportunities.
If Roy does get a phone call from Molson, what will he think about the owner’s condition that it’s really a two-man job and the candidate will be expected to work closely with Gorton? The GM will have final say in decisions, but it won’t be your typical position with the usual autonomy.
“The two of them will be working together to make good decisions for the good of the organization,” Molson said on Monday. “When something has to happen that’s team-related, the general manager has to be the final responsible person in making that decision and be accountable for it.”