The Colorado Avalanche have proven Patrick Roy's bro correct by announcing the former goalie and 8-year veteran coach of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the new head coach in Denver.
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization has reached an agreement in principle with Patrick Roy to become the franchise’s Head Coach/Vice President of Hockey Operations. Due to the Memorial Day weekend, the Avalanche will hold a press conference next week in Denver to formally introduce Roy.
Roy, 47, becomes the sixth head coach in Avalanche history and the 14th in franchise history. In addition to his head coaching duties, Roy will also work with Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic in all player personnel decisions.
President Josh Kroenke and Executive Vice President Joe Sakic confirmed that Roy had been their top candidate all along. "Patrick has a great hockey mind, is a tremendous coach and there is no one more passionate about this game," Sakic said. "He will bring that winning attitude to our dressing room to help this young team grow."
Passion and an ability to develop young players were the top concerns of the Avs brass as evidenced by the press conference held recently to announce Kroenke's and Sakic's new positions. Roy's experience as head coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL certainly provided him with a knowledge of young player development, and his incredible success at that level (348-196 record (.640) in 544 regular season games) proves his passion to win is as strong as ever.
No one will forget, however, what Roy brought to the game as a player. His steadfast dedication to excellence was evident in everything he did on and off the ice. The hardware he earned and the reputation he made for himself are legendary, and that kind of background in winning is something that has been lacking behind the Avs' bench for some time. Roy will undoubtedly hold all the players accountable.
Criticism of Roy as a coach hasn't gone unheard. His tendency to let emotions run away with him has given people pause when it comes to having him guide a team stacked with guys with less than 5 years in the league. However, his time in Quebec has certainly taught him the necessity of balancing passion and expectation with guidance and mentoring.
One would hope his influence as VP of Hockey Operations will be felt in the crease with the addition of an established, talented full-time goalie coach. Semyon Varlamov has struggled with the mental aspect of the game, and having a Hall of Fame goaltender, one who still holds the record for the most playoff games won, as your coach could certainly be daunting. But the steady presence of JS Giguere and a solid goalie coach would go a long way in balancing that pressure with lessons sure to be learned.
Roy's role as VP of Hockey Operations has not been clarified as of yet. Expect to get more information on that during the press conference next week.
“This is an unbelievable day for me,” said Roy. “It’s a new and exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to. I would like to thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity as well as Joe Sakic for the trust they are putting in me. Almost 10 years to the day that I announced my retirement as a player I am back in Denver and hope the fans are as excited as I am.”