In a move that surprised the Colorado Avalanche, the National Hockey League, and fans in both the United States and Canada, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy has resigned his dual posts as coach and vice president of hockey operations with the professional hockey club.
Roy made the announcement in a statement this afternoon. In that statement, Roy feels his vision for the team is not on the same page as that of other team management. “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,” Roy said.
Roy leaves the Avalanche coaching position after three seasons; prior to his being hired by the team as its coach, he was the coach of a junior hockey team in the Canadian province of Quebec. He also was a star goaltender for Colorado, helping them win a pair of Stanley Cup pro hockey championships in 1996 and 2001.
It is not clear who the Avalanche, based in Denver, will hire to replace Roy; with the season set to start in about a month, team executives, led by executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic, will need to work quickly to find a new coach. Possible candidates include Bob Hartley, who was Colorado’s coach when they won their two Cups with Roy manning the goal in 1996 and 2001. Hartley is currently looking for an NHL coaching job, having been fired by his previous team, the Canadian-based Calgary Flames, after this past season.