icon Patrick Roy has a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon behind the bench. (Leon T. Switzer/ Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
SI.com's Adrian Dater, writing in the Denver Post, said that 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 [Avalanche vice president of hockey operations Joe] Sakic said he was in no hurry to name a new coach. But 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 his family as a top reason. But his sons, Jonathan and Frederick, who once played under him with the QMJHL's [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 that is hoping that team can return to something approximating 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 veterans, but it will be the ability to nurture the young players that he developed during his 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 it is for 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.
UPDATE: Dater reports this morning that the Avalanche say no deal is yet in place for Roy. He believes the sides are in negotiations and that Roy's demands for money -- a LOT of money -- could hold up or even derail the process.
UPDATE: Stephane Roy is now saying his Facebook post regarding his brother and the Colorado Avalannche's open coaching position was "misinterpreted."
Translated: Stéphane Roy tells reporter José Laganière that his words were misinterpreted on Facebook and it was only his intuition that Patrick would be hired.
Here's what Stephane originally posted: "For all my friends I'd like you to know before the official news spreads that my older brother will be the new coach of the Colorado Avalanch(sic)."
Not really sure that leaves a lot of room for interpretation, "mis" or otherwise. Sounds more like big brother ripped him a new one for leaking the news and possibly damaging his bargaining position.