Former Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy is a coach. The Colorado Avalanche currently have a coaching vacancy to fill with the departure of Joel Quenneville (remember Don Cherry, he wasn't fired). Therefore, Patrick Roy is automatically a candidate for the job.
Forget the fact that Roy has only been coaching hockey for a few years, and only at the junior level (in the offense-only QMJHL). Forget that hiring him would instantly be labeled a publicity stunt more than an actual move to improve the franchise. Forget that Francois Giguere would have to justify a growing string of nostalgia hirings, even if they've proven reasonably successful so far. Forget the fact that any and all mistakes or shortcomings suffered by the team would be magnified ten fold, just by the name behind the bench. It's a wonder Wayne Gretzky survived this long in Phoenix.
Sure enough, because Patrick Roy is a coach somewhere, he's a candidate for the Avalanche job.
"Yes, I will talk to the Avalanche if they call," Roy said. "Yes, I will sit down with (general manager) Francois Giguere if he wants to talk about being the coach."
And he's at least somewhat interested.
But let's be honest. When your potential coaching candidates include Pat Burns and even John Tortorella (both of whom have won the Stanley Cup), you'd think Patrick Roy wouldn't be a major consideration, despite his ties to the franchise and the pedestal upon which he sits in the Denver sports pantheon. Maybe as an assistant coach, sure, but not as an untested head coach of a franchise looking to return to dominance.
To Roy's credit, his Quebec Remparts do play an open-ice, offense-first style of hockey, which is exactly what GM Giguere has said he's looking for. But the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is known for its complete lack of defense in comparison to tougher junior leagues like the OHL and the WHL. The greatest
goaltending and defensive prospects do not come from the QMJHL. It's known as a goal-scorers league and has been for a long time by some.
What actually is to Roy's credit is his rigid mindset and steel resolve to be a winner. Patrick Roy never wavers in his pursuit of dominance, and he's an expert at getting into (and then wrecking completely) the minds of his opponents. He's no softy.
Also, Avalanche fans wouldn't have to worry about the coach taking out his frustrations on the goaltenders just because.
Would Patrick Roy at the helm make Jose Theodore even better (if he returns?). What about Peter Budaj? No doubt the coaching combination of St. Patrick and Jeff Hackett could produce some really amazing performances in net for the Avalanche.
But, then again, maybe not.
Honestly, I don't think Roy is the right guy for the top job at this point. Assistant coach? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. But for once I'm afraid I'll just have to agree with Bernie Lincicome on this one, if only on just the overall theme that other candidates deserve more attention.