Patrick Roy, pictured here with his pee-wee hockey vigilante group the Sons of Vezina, has been offered the head coaching job with the Colorado Avalanche, according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
Which is to say that he's been offered a position that's already filled by Tony Granato, who was hired when the Avalanche parted ways with Joel Quenneville, who is currently coaching the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. Which is to say that the Avalanche have made more questionable calls than Brad Watson in the last year.
Despite having yet to receive a pink slip, Granato was done the moment that Roy first met with Avalanche officials and made it obvious it wasn't for the general manager's vacancy. Congratulations are in order for Colorado Avalanche president Pierre Lacroix, who has found a way to make the emasculating process of losing one's job even more publically embarrassing. We're sure there's a contractual reason why Granato hasn't resigned yet. At least we hope there is.
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Please don't mistake this as some sort of empathetic support of Granato's continued employment, because he should have been fired weeks (and maybe months) ago. Colorado was 32-45-5 (69 points), and Granato's greatest achievement may have been convincing the stunningly overpaid free-agent flop Darcy Tucker(notes) to choose Denver.
Hence, Roy has apparently been offered his job. The question is whether the Hall of Fame goalie-turned-juniors coach will actually accept it ... and whether this decision is an indication that the Avalanche are keeping things in-house for their GM job.
Just because a team makes Roy an offer, one of his former coaches said, doesn't mean he will accept it.
"Patrick is a very deliberate guy who analyzes everything," said Jacques Demers, who coached Roy's Montreal Canadiens to the 1993 Stanley Cup. "He's not necessarily going to take the first job that might come along. He's going to want to go into a situation he thinks is on the right track and that he's going to feel comfortable with."
The Avs finished last in the Western Conference this season, and their 199 goals were the fewest in the NHL. In addition, the Avs have financial issues. Their two goal-tenders - Peter Budaj(notes) and Andrew Raycroft(notes) - are unsigned for next season, and the team likely will have only $10 million to $12 million to spend on filling out the roster. Currently, 14 regulars have contracts for next season at a payroll of nearly $44 million.
And honestly, who wouldn't want to be a goalie with Patrick Roy as your head coach, right? We're sure he's a calm nurturer of burgeoning talent, and not Billy Corgan playing all of the instruments himself on "Siamese Dream."
Despite endorsements from Demers and Scotty Bowman, Roy's coaching experience is the issue in this hiring. He's been behind the bench of the major junior Quebec Remparts for two seasons, including one that featured a public apology for allowing his son to assault an opposing goaltender.
But here's the thing: Out of the box thinking is the new black for hiring NHL coaches. Pete DeBoer was a success with the Florida Panthers despite never having coached in the NHL. A slew of AHL coaches that otherwise may have never gotten head coaching jobs now have them after Bruce Boudreau won the Jack Adams with the Washington Capitals. Sure, Gretzky has been a massive disappointment in Phoenix to, the point where the team's on-ice failure has hastened its potential relocation. But otherwise, staying away from retreads (*cough*GRANATO*cough*) has worked out well for many teams.
Surround Roy with the smartest assistants you can, and try to change the direction of the franchise. It's not the worst decision the Avs could make at this point.
Speaking of bad decisions, ownership still has one to make about the GM vacancy, and Dater seems to believe they're staying in-house:
The puzzling thing - well, I'm never really puzzled by this team, but you know what I mean - is that I can't seem to find a single "outside" person who has either gotten an interview or gotten a call about the GM job. People who you would figure are some leading candidates to at least get an interview - people like Jay Feaster, David McNab, Chuck Fletcher, Neil Smith, Pierre McGuire, Pat Quinn - all say they have not been contacted at all by Colorado. Maybe some or all are lying to me, and maybe one will become the next GM. But usually someone will tell a reporter "no comment" or not call back at all, rather than lie so boldly like that.
God, would someone please hire Jay Feaster already ...
This would appear to point to the Avs hiring either Craig Billington or Michel Goulet, both of whom are with the organization already. Billington of course being a former backup to Roy.
Usually, the general manager selects the coach. But usually, NHL teams don't resemble a row boat with one oar and three dozen holes in the bottom like the Avalanche do.