Patrick Roy hasn't been behind an NHL bench for seven years, but his name seems to be in the mix as the NHL coaching carousel spins.
Roy led the Quebec Remparts to a Memorial Cup victory on Sunday, adding to an overstuffed personal trophy case and reinforcing the notion that he might be ready to take an NHL job.
The Hall of Fame goaltender has put together an impressive body of work with the Remparts, posting a 459-246-60 record over 12 seasons. He also had a three-year stint as coach of the Colorado Avalanche that resulted in a 130-92-24 record and a Jack Adams Trophy win in 2013-14.
During TSN's broadcast of the Memorial Cup on June 1, insider Darren Dreger weighed in on Roy's NHL prospects, saying that he knew the Columbus Blue Jackets discussed their head coaching job with him. Dreger also said there was speculation around the New York Rangers, and that one of the bidders for ownership of the Ottawa Senators was interested in having Roy behind the bench.
Columbus seems like it will hire Mike Babcock and the Rangers are reportedly out of the running, but that doesn't mean Roy's options have dried up — even with the Anaheim Ducks hiring Greg Cronin on Monday. The Calgary Flames are still looking for a bench boss, the Toronto Maple Leafs' situation is in flux, and the goings-on in Ottawa will bear monitoring.
While Roy doesn't have a history with any of those franchises, he could still be an appealing candidate.
Only one of his three NHL seasons resulted in a playoff berth during his time with the Avalanche, but he showed a willingness to innovate — particularly when it came to pulling his goaltender far earlier than other coaches.
He'd also enter any NHL locker room with instant credibility due to his four Stanley Cup titles, three Vezina Trophies, and three Conn Smythe Trophies as a player. There's also evidence to suggest his experience as a goaltender helped him get strong performances from his team's netminders in Colorado.
Here's how the four goalies who played at least 20 games under Roy with the Avalanche fared by save percentage compared to their performances before and after.
The samples — outside of Varlamov — are relatively small, as none of the other goalies played both before and after their time with Roy, but the numbers are still interesting. It's hard to be confident that Roy is a goalie whisperer, but it's believable considering his own success between the pipes.
In terms of drawbacks, the fact Roy has been away from the NHL for so long doesn't help his case. His exit from Colorado was also less-than-ideal as he resigned late in the offseason, leaving the Avalanche in a tough spot. He also appeared to take anti-analytics stances at times during his Avalanche tenure, and that might affect his fit with certain front offices.
In terms of on-ice results, one playoff appearance in three seasons is hardly an unimpeachable track record, and the Avalanche didn't shine on special teams with Roy behind the bench, ranking 19th in power-play efficiency (17.7%) and 14th in penalty-killing percentage (81.8%).
Roy is an on-ice legend with an intriguing coaching resume, but he's also far from a perfect candidate. While his recent Memorial Cup win might put him over the top for some team, he's no lock to return to the NHL next season.