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Avs officially name Roy as coach

The SportsXchange

The Colorado Avalanche confirmed rumors on Thursday that Patrick Roy is the team's next head coach.

The 47-year-old Roy also was named vice president of hockey operations. He replaces Joe Sacco, who was fired on April 28 after Colorado finished last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for a third straight season.

"This is an unbelievable day for me," Roy said. "It's a new and exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to. Almost 10 years to the day that I announced my retirement as a player, I am back in Denver and hope the fans are as excited as I am."

There was speculation that Roy accepted the job earlier in the week. The team announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement in principle with the Hall of Fame goaltender.

Roy retired as an Avalanche player on May 28, 2003, with a then-NHL record for wins by a goalie with 551.

In his new job, Roy will work with former teammate Joe Sakic, the club's executive vice president of hockey operations. Sakic and Roy were on Colorado's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1996 and 2001. Their numbers were retired by the Avalanche and hang in the rafters in the Pepsi Center.

"This is a very exciting day for our fans and a significant moment in our organization's history," Avalanche president Josh Kroenke said in a statement. "Patrick"s passion for the game of hockey both as a player and as a coach defines who he is as a person."

For the past eight years, Roy served as head coach, general manager and co-owner of the Quebec Ramparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. His teams posted a .640 winning percentage and won the Memorial Cup in 2006.

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