The Colorado Avalanche have been a rudderless, sputtering franchise for the last few seasons. To stabilize the team, they reached back into their glory years, elevating Hall of Famer Joe Sakic to Executive VP of Hockey Operations.
It appears the next Avalanche coach might be born out of that same nostalgia.
Patrick Roy, the co-owner/GM/head coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be the next coach of the Avalanche, as his brother told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post on Monday.
"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 his famous sibling.
The Avalanche would not confirm a deal is in place. Patrick Roy could not be reached for comment, and neither could Avalanche vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic.
Stephane Roy, who played briefly in the NHL, posted on his Facebook page Monday night, "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)."
Patrick Roy was traded to the Avalanche in 1995 after a contentious split from the Montreal Canadiens. He would win 262 games from 1995-2003, along with two Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe in 2001.
He was previously offered the head coaching gig for the Avalanche in 2009, before the team fired Tony Granato and hired Joe Sacco. He turned down the job, citing “family reasons.”
Sakic wouldn’t confirm nor deny Roy was a candidate this week in a radio interview with 104.3 The Fan, but said:
“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.”
Is he the right man for the Avs?
Some will see this as another shameless nostalgia trip by a franchise that needs to recapture the confidence and excitement of the fans. But Roy is a well-respected junior coach -- albeit a controversial one -- with no less than Scotty Bowman having endorsed him as a future NHL coach.
If nothing else, the Avalanche would have an immediate personality transplant.
It used to be “Patrick Roy and the Avs”; it would be again.