The Colorado Avalanche are gearing up for the NHL playoffs and perhaps their best shot at capturing Lord Stanley’s beer mug for the first time since their win in the 2000-01 season. The Avalanche remain the favorite in the Stanley Cup betting odds at all of the leading online sportsbooks.
However, while a new era of Avs championship hockey could be dawning, one of the cornerstones of the previous dynasty is seeking to get back into the big show. On Monday, PBI Sports announced that they are now representing former Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy with NHL coaching and management opportunities.
“Welcome to the group, Patrick!” PBI agent Neil Glasberg posted on Twitter.
PBI is known as the coaching agency. Among Glasberg’s other clients are ex-NHL coaches Geoff Ward, Kirk Muller and Gerard Gallant, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci and Arizona Coyotes assistant coach Phil Housley.
Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinee Roy backstopped Colorado to both of its Stanley Cup wins in 1995-96 and 2000-01, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP following the latter triumph. Roy, Adam Foote, Peter Forsberg, Jon Klemm, current Avs GM Joe Sakic, and Stephane Yelle were all part of both of Colorado’s Stanley Cup-winning teams.
Legendary Avs Netminder
Roy holds Avalanche franchise records for single-season (nine) and career (37) shutouts, as well as for single-season (40) and career (262) wins. He posted an NHL-leading 38 wins during the 1996-97 season.
Roy was an NHL First All-Star Team selection and the Jennings Trophy winner during the 2001-02 season. He led the NHL in shutouts (nine) and goals-against average (1.94) that season.
He retired as a member of the Avalanche on May 28, 2003. The Avalanche retired Roy’s No. 33 jersey on October 28, 2003. Roy left with NHL records for career playoff games played (247) and career playoff wins (151).
Roy was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006. That was his first year of eligibility.
Colorado Coaching Career
Roy became the first former Avs player to coach the team when he was hired for the job on May 23, 2013. He won his first six games as a rookie NHL coach. That tied Roy with Mario Tremblay, his former coach with the Montreal Canadiens, for the most consecutive wins at the beginning of a NHL coaching career.
During the 2013-14 season, Roy’s first as an NHL coach, Colorado collected 112 points to win the Central Division title. The Avs tied a franchise record by posting 52 wins. They also recorded an NHL-leading 26-11–4 road mark. Colorado went 35-0-3 when leading after two periods.
While he was in charge of the Avs, Roy is credited for innovating the now commonly-used tactic of pulling the goaltender when trailing in a game with as much as 2-3 minutes left in regulation time. Prior policy was not to pull the netminder in that scenario until the final minute of play.
Roy’s tenure in charge of the Avalanche soon headed in the wrong direction. The team finished seventh in the Central in 2014-15 and sixth in 2015-16, missing out on postseason play both years. On Aug. 11, 2016, Roy stepped down as Avs coach, citing a lack of input in personnel decisions. He was replaced by current Avs coach Jared Bednar.
Could Roy Be Headed To His First NHL Home?
It’s certainly unlikely to be a coincidence that Roy is throwing his hat back into the NHL coaching carousel while his first NHL team, the Canadiens, are floundering. Roy was a hero in Montreal. He was the goalie for the Habs’ two most recent Stanley Cup winners in 1985-86 and 1992-93, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy both times.
Montreal hasn’t played in the Stanley Cup final since, the longest drought in franchise history.
Earlier this season, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin fired head coach Claude Julien when the team was 9-5-4. They’ve since gone 11-12-5 under interim coach Dominic Ducharme and are clinging to the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.
Could Roy be positioning himself to be the next coach of the Canadiens? With Bergevin also in danger of being jettisoned, perhaps Roy is aiming even higher up Montreal’s food chain.
“He could be a president of hockey ops,” Glasberg told Sportsnet. “He could be a GM. He could be a co-GM. He could be a head coach.
“It’s going to be situational. That’s the truthful answer.”