Since dismissing Joe Sacco as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche a lot has changed. The entire front office has gone through a makeover, and their first big decision, which will help give a taste of what kind of direction they want to move, will be to hire a head coach.
While there were some rumors in the works (including Patrick Roy’s brother), one name rose to the top; Patrick Roy. Roy had coached the Quebec Ramparts in the QMJHL and made quite a lot of history during his time playing for the Colorado Avalanche. Roy is the right coach for the Avalanche.
A Perfect Blend of Old and New
Roy is a great decision for this new front office as head coach because he fits Colorado’s desire to “keep things in the family” as well as being somebody from the outside that should bring a fresh new system and message to a locker room that desperately needs something new.
The fan base would also likely approve of Patrick Roy for the exact same reason. He isn’t just a “call up” from Lake Erie bound to give the same message as the guy who just got fired. Everybody would win.
Patrick Roy. Say that name to anybody who loves hockey, let alone who plays hockey for a living, and you see a winner. Roy brings a name and a presence that everybody in that locker room immediately has to respect. You think four Stanley Cup rings, three Conn Smyth trophies and the case of accolades he received as a player would carry some weight in the locker room? I do.
Roy isn’t an unproven coach from Major Junior coming into the locker room, he’s the best goalie that has ever played the game. If anybody knows what it takes to make a champion, it’s him.
I’m not going to be one of the people that says a coach must show fire on the bench in order to be successful. That obviously isn’t the case, but sometimes that fire can be an asset to the right type of team.
The Avalanche seem like they might just be that type of team. It was so interesting to see them put in poor effort after poor effort and just see Joe Sacco stand with his mildly annoyed look on his face. Then contrast it with the all out effort they gave after J.S. Giguere ripped the team for their pathetic efforts.
Remember, Roy was famous for his temper during his playing days. He once destroyed several pieces of video equipment after a game the Avalanche won. Roy would never take the series of lackluster performances the Avalanche put for in stride. He would, quite literally, probably fight some of the players on the roster first.
One thing that the Avalanche have done probably worse than any other team in the NHL is develop their goaltending. They have been one of the few teams in the NHL to function without a full-time goalie coach for a few seasons now. Roy would be able to impart some of his own wisdom to Semyon Varlamov (who happens to idolize Patrick Roy) and, more importantly, recognizes the need for the presence of a goalie coach. I can’t see that particular trend continuing with Roy as head coach.
Yes, there are a lot of questions about whether or not Roy will translate his coaching skills to the NHL, as he has only coached at the Major Junior level. Don’t forget, though, a ton of questions surrounded Roy when he initially started coaching in the QMJHL. All his team did was win the Memorial Cup in his first year as a head coach.
Just like during his playing career, I simply would never bet against Patrick Roy.
I’m a Denver native who has been a fan of the Avalanche since they came to town and a fan of the game before that. I started writing my own blog a couple years ago before moving to Bleacher Report and becoming a Featured Columnist there. You can also find me the Burgundy Brigade Podcast