SI.com’s Adrian Dater, writing in the Denver Post, says Patrick Roy will be announced as the next head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.
“They’re discussing the final details of an arrangement. Colorado is going to be very happy. Patrick is looking for a new challenge,” said Stephane Roy, the younger brother of the Hall of Fame netminder.
From the Post:
If Roy is hired, it would cap a whirlwind last few days, after which Sakic said he was in no hurry to name a new coach. But [Avalanche vice president of hockey operations Joe] Sakic acknowledged to The Post and to KKFN 104.3 FM that Roy was a candidate, and told KKFN: “I love Patrick. He was probably the greatest goalie that ever played. There’s a guy who was a winner. That’s all he wanted to do. I know he’s done a tremendous job with his junior team in Quebec and for sure he’s a guy that you would consider, yeah.”
Roy was offered the Avs’ coaching job in 2009 but turned it down, citing family as a top reason. But his sons, Jonathan and Frederick, who once played under him with the [Quebec] Remparts, are no longer there, and Roy has said he would consider an NHL job if it were offered.
Dater wrote that the Avalanche would not confirm the deal and that neither Roy nor Sakic could be reached for comment.
If this is the way it plays out, it’s a bold first strike for Sakic in his new position. As a brand name, Roy should be warmly welcomed by a disaffected fan base looking to recapture something of the franchise’s good old days. But more important is how he’ll be regarded in the room. His reputation as a winner should carry a lot of weight with the vets, but it will be the ability to nurture young players that he developed over eight years coaching the Remparts that makes him an intriguing hire. Roy earned a reputation as a hard but fair leader who inspired devotion from his players. Alexander Radulov, who played for the Remparts during Roy’s first season, said he’d “swim across the ocean,” for the chance to play with Roy again.
All that said, the jump from junior hockey to the NHL is no easier to navigate for a coach than a player. Dale Hunter was regarded as one of the best coaches in the CHL when he signed on with the Washington Capitals in 2011 and he lasted less than a season. Peter DeBoer and Brent Sutter managed longer stays, but have experienced mixed results.
And Roy, who guided the Remparts to a Memorial Cup in 2006 and champions an offensive style, comes in with his own unique baggage after several on and off-ice incidents in Quebec. Part of the maturing process as a coach, or signs that he’s a bit of a loose cannon?
Either way, let’s just hope this happens. The game’s a better, and more entertaining, place when he’s around.
We’ll update as details become available.