Let's get something straight: I'm a humongous big Patrick Roy fan. He's my goalie idol, the GOAT, the swagger that walks stride-for-stride with some of my favorite hockey memories. He was a pivotal player for the Avs during his tenure minding the nets and he was a difference maker more often than not. I will defend his on-ice career to my dying day and Brodeur fanbois can sit on a injection wellhead and rotate.
On the other hand, I've always been a little wary of Coach Roy. Hell, I made his hiring an April Fool's joke IN 2008!! Don't get me wrong, I love his fire in defending and motivating his players. I enjoyed his off-ice demeanor with media and fans, and I appreciated the way he articulated his vision for the team and functioned as a face of the franchise. I love some of his in-game strategies and his willingness to allow MacKinnon and Zadorov to develop. But I knew that Varly, other teams' unfamiliarity with his style, and luck were the main drivers behind the playoff run two years ago. I scratched my head at some of his player usages. I was frustrated with what appeared to be a purposeful flaunting of the lack of puck possession for the last two seasons. I wondered that if he was such a great guy to play for that it didn't seem to factor into Paul Stastny, Ryan O'Reilly, or even Mikkel Boedker's decisions to leave the team. I wondered what he and Allaire really saw in Berra and Pickard. I feared that none of the coaching staff recognized the issues with the systems or even worse, some of them did and couldn't or wouldn't tell Roy because of who he is and the cachet he carried.
All that aside, given the timing of his resignation, the comments that have surfaced since then, and a critical review of the team's current status...I'm really starting to wonder if he's afraid of what this season would bring. While the blueline is better than it was the past two season, that's kind of damning with faint praise. They didn't have anywhere to go but up. Given the roster moves at the NHL level, the game plan appears to be centered around:
- getting valuable experience for some younger guys,
- continuing the maturation process for some of the core guys,
- seeing where they stand come the trade deadline,
- remembering that some big contracts come off the books at the end of the season, and
- keeping the expansion draft in the back of their minds.