In a shocking turn of events, Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy has announced his resignation via press release at 11:55 am MST. After three seasons of elation, tumult, overachievement, and underachievement, Roy will leave behind a young team with their best hockey in front of them.
Roy led the Avalanche to a 130-92-24 record in 246 games as head coach, guiding the team to a 112-point season and the playoffs his first year (earning the NHL's Jack Adams Trophy for coach of the year in the process). The past two seasons, however, have been more disappointing — with the team going 78-70-16 and missing the postseason in the tough-as-nails Central Division.
Roy, in a statement released to the media, cited personnel disagreements with the Avalanche front office. "[In order to be successful], the vision of the coach of VP of Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with the organization. He must have a say in the decisions that impact the team's performance. These conditions are not currently met."
Prior to re-joining the Avalanche, where he enjoyed a Hall of Fame career as a goalie, Roy was the owner and head coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Upon being hired in 2013, he immediately reignited a young Colorado team to their first playoff appearance since 2009, but drew criticism in the following seasons for dismissing the rise the statistical analysis favored by many successful NHL teams.
General manager Joe Sakic hired statistics guru Chris McFarland after the 2014-15 season and many in the Avalanche community immediately noticed a discernible difference in player usage and free agent signings. The team also hired highly-regarded 40-year-old assistant coach Nolan Pratt this offseason, ostensibly to modernize the oft-criticized system implemented by Patrick Roy's handpicked defensive assistant, Dave Farrish.
It's now clear the head coach and front office staff were of different minds on many of these issues and now each will be scrambling to settling their 2016-17 plans just a month-and-a-half from the start of the season.