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Patrick Roy: Next Colorado Avalanche Head Coach?

Patrick Roy: Next Colorado Avalanche Head Coach?

Richard Wolowicz

Patrick Roy is a man that most Colorado Avalanche fans are aware of. Some are even in awe of. He is a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. He was the first goalie to play over 1,000 games. He played the most NHL playoff games as a goaltender. He has the most wins in the NHL playoffs as a goaltender. The man hates to lose with a fiery passion. Losing is simply not an option for this man.

Patrick gained notoriety as a 20 year old when he led the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley Cup victory and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the tournament MVP. In 1993 he did it again: led the Habs to win another Cup and again had his name inscribed on the Conn Smythe. He was so adored in Montreal that the fans gave him the nickname "Saint Patrick". Roy came to be a Colorado Avalanche player during the 1996 season. During a regular season game in December against the Detroit Red Wings Roy was just not on top of his game. He let in nine goals on 26 shots on net. The fans mocked him with cheers when he managed to make a save. Roy mocked them right back, raising his arms in mock celebration. The Habs head coach finally pulled him. Roy was beyond livid and felt that he had been forced to stay in net as a power management move by the coach. When Roy got to the bench, he made his way over to the club President, Ronald Corey, and told him that this was his last game in Montreal. Roy got his wish. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche without having to play in the Montreal uniform again. Later Roy would say:

"You always have some regrets," Roy said of his exit from Montreal. "I mean, nobody’s perfect. But when you love to compete, and that’s the way I was, there was a good side of it and bad side of it. But I don’t think I would have the career I had if I was not that type of person."

That season Roy set out to prove the Canadiens wrong, and he succeeded. He brought home Lord Stanley's Cup to the Colorado Avalanche. It was during this playoff run that the famous "I can't really hear what Jeremy says, because I've got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears" was uttered by Roy. During his next few seasons with the Avalanche Roy was a key part of the Blood Feud between the Red Wings and the Avalanche. He had no issues dropping the gloves and fighting another goaltender. In 2001 Roy was the goaltender that helped the Avalanche win their second Cup, and earned himself his third Conn Smythe Trophy.

As a player he won the Vezina trophy three times and the Jennings Trophy five times. His three Conn Smythe's across three separate decades is a feat that still stands today. Roy's famous sweater #33 has been retired by the Avalanche and, surprisingly, by the Montreal Canadiens. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

Since his NHL retirement Roy has not stayed quiet. He is the owner, general manager and head coach of the Quebec Remparts, a QMJHL team. While in his first season of coaching, the Remparts won the Memorial Cup. Patrick Roy, and his son Jonathan, made the news in March 2008 when Jonathan fought the opposing goalie. Before the fight started Roy made signs towards Jonathan to get him involved in the brawl that was occurring on the ice. Both Roys were suspended and fined for their behavior. Jonathan was even charged with assault.

At the conclusion of the 2009 season, a number of rumors started floating about that Patrick Roy had been offered the head coaching position for the Colorado Avalanche. He, reportedly, turned it down because he was still coaching both his sons and had a lot more power and say in Quebec than he would with the Avalanche. Rumors also circulated that the Avs failed to meet his asking price. Both sons have since graduated from the ranks of the QMJHL: Frederick Roy is currently playing in the AHL and Jonathan is now a singer (who apparently has a proud father) and perhaps the price wouldn't be so high to tear him from his QC domain.

The timing is right for Roy, he knows what it takes to win. He compiled an astounding 349-161-16-21 (W-L-OTL-SOL)regular season record in the QMJHL with a Memorial Cup and several deep playoff runs to his credit. He could help Semyon Varlamov - because we all know the Avalanche don't want to hire a full-time goalie coach and he has a familiarity with Russian players having coached Alexander Radulov and more recently, Mikhail Grigorenko. Although Roy has no NHL coaching experience, his pathological need to win could prove to be exactly what the Avalanche need. His extensive coaching experience with Junior players over the last eight years would come in handy with such an ultra-young Avalanche squad. In addition to that experience, he would command a tremendous amount of respect in the room due to the Avs recent tendency to draft players that were fans of the Avalanche as kids. Of course his familiarity with the team (and current President Pierre Lacroix) mesh with the organization's tendency to keep it within the family. All in all, perhaps the time is right to bring in one of the greatest to right the ship.