Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy has left the organization citing that his vision did not “perfectly align” with the organization.
Roy, a Hockey Hall of Famer who won two Stanley Cups as the Avs’ goaltender, was hired before the 2013-14 season and led the Avalanche to a Central Division title and 52-22-8 record. That year Roy won the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL’s coach of the year.
Since then the team has failed to make the playoffs, and Roy has often found himself battling the perception that he was not friendly to the league’s analytical, puck possession movement.
Roy will finish his time in Colorado with a 130-92-24 record. He was also the team’s vice president of hockey operations. Roy reportedly had one year left on his contract.
The end of Roy’s 2015-16 season was contentious with him blasting leading goal scorer Matt Duchene for a celebration after his 30th goal of the year in a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Here is Roy’s full statement from PR Newswire.
“For the past three years, I have carried out my duties as Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche with energy, passion and determination.
I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level. To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team’s performance. These conditions are not currently met.
Today, I am informing you of my decision to leave the Colorado Avalanche organization. Though it saddens me, I have put much thought about this decision in recent weeks and have come to be fully comfortable with it.
I am grateful to the Colorado Avalanche organization, with which I remain in good terms, for letting me lead this great team. I thank all the players I have had the pleasure of coaching and the fans for their unwavering, unconditional support.
I remain forever loyal to the Avalanche with which I played 478 games, coached another 253, and won two Stanley Cups.”
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Roy informed him of this decision earlier Thursday.
“We appreciate all he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future,” Sakic said in a statement provided by the Avs. “We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately,”
What are some of the issues Roy claims? He mentioned some of his problems with the team’s core in a late-season radio interview.
“I think our core needs to show more leadership,” Roy told 104.3 The Fan in Denver, as transcribed by Pro Hockey Talk. “It was like this when I played for [the Montreal Canadiens], like this when I played for the [Avalanche]. The core are the ones that have to carry the team. They’re the ones where, when you lose a game, it has to hurt from the inside. You should want more.”
“My belief is our mindset needs to change,” Roy said. “That’s the conversation I have with (Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic) when we’re talking about, ‘We need to be stronger mentally,’ and, ‘We need to bring character players inside of this dressing room.’ That’s what we’ve been trying to do.”
The Avalanche didn’t shake up their core this offseason, and gave long-term contracts to defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Nathan MacKinnon.
The NHL future of Roy may be murky at this point. Colorado seemed like a natural fit due to his relationship with Sakic and his history with the organization. Roy’s No. 33 is retired by the team.
He came to Colorado after he had great success with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. The Remparts were sold to Quebecor in 2014 and Roy was previously was part owner of the organization.
The Montreal Canadiens could make sense if coach Michel Therrien finds himself in trouble early – based off Roy’s history there of winning two Cups with that team as well.
For the Avalanche, this puts them in a tough spot with a little over a month until training camp and no head coach.
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