Montreal Canadiens: Could We See the Return Of Patrick Roy?

Feb 7, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Colorado head coach Patrick Roy in the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Colorado head coach Patrick Roy in the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3

Roy played out the rest of his career in Colorado and retired in 2003. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. But he wasn’t done with hockey.

His history with the Remparts started in 2005, when he became vice-president, owner, general manager and head coach. It was at that time where the famous incident happened with him and his son, who was goalie for the Remparts at the time.

Jonathan Roy fought the opponent’s goalie and a second player, before leaving the ice, with middle fingers held aloft, of course. The big problem was that the elder Roy, Patrick, was seen egging him on before his son made his way up the ice. Skater Roy got suspended 7 games and coach Roy got 5.

But the controversy didn’t end there. Roy became the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 2013. According to a source that is somewhat unreliable, *ahem* Wikipedia *ahem*, Roy was essentially the General Manager in everything but name, but I couldn’t find any other info outside of that.

2013 was a historic year for the Colorado Avalanche, who won over 50 games, and Patrick Roy won the Jack Adams Trophy for coach of the year.

Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.

The Avalanche lost in seven games to the Minnesota Wild and then cratered in the next season, finishing last in the division. The next year saw the Avalanche post an almost identical record and miss the playoffs again. Roy then stepped down and has since returned to the Q.

So, could we see Patrick Roy back in the big league?

Well, never say never.

It’s a confusing situation to be sure. There are things that I can point to that would point to as reasons for Roy not returning, but those are also reasons why he might come back.

Brian Burke might be the most belligerent figure in the NHL, but Roy might give him a run for his money. There is the incident with his son, but don’t forget this classic in his first game as the Avalanche coach.

It’s not the most professional sequences in the world, but one of the announcers touched a nerve in that clip when he said “It’s Showtime”.

I’m no big basketball fan, but I watched Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker’s Dynasty, and it is great. Really entertaining for everyone that doesn’t mind some very R-rated things. But it touches upon Showtime basketball, or one man’s dream to make basketball mainstream and exciting.

Say what you will about Patrick Roy behind the bench, but he is exciting. He gets tons of media coverage and eyes on him just for being there. A lot of these incidents I didn’t even have to look up, they are just memories that live on in many hockey fan’s minds.

So pulling the goalie with 5 minutes left like he used to do might be questionable coaching. Trying to murder Corey Perry with the stanchion is highly questionable. But, it gets people looking. And for teams that might be losing fans and media attention. Maybe, just maybe, Roy brings them some Showtime hockey.

The problem is that you could lead a Roy to a bad team, but you can’t make him coach it. From the outside he seems like one of the most stubborn figures in hockey, and if the stories are to be believed, he craves control over a team.

In the QMJHL, Roy is the big fish of the pond. He is the general manager of the team and has complete control over the hockey decisions, it seems. I think it’s hard to see Roy being pried away from that level of control to the NHL, where even as a GM, he would have a whole lot of voices and layers to get anything done.

(Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images) /

And then there are the teams he would be willing to come to the NHL for. Montreal and Colorado are givens. He even interviewed for the job in Montreal this year, but lost out to Kent Hughes. And Colorado is locked in with one of the best general managers in the league with Joe Sakic.

Roy is a Showtime name, a guy that thrives and needs the spotlight. Teams I think might be interested into his ability to drum up a media frenzy are teams I think Roy would not be interested in. Teams like Columbus or Arizona or Buffalo.

Lastly, building a team in the minors is completely different than building a team in the majors. A successful team in the NHL is built to last; built to be a Stanley Cup contender year after year after year.

By definition, it is almost impossible to build long-term in the minors. An NHL player can play over a decade with the same team. But a great player in the minors will be gone in a year or two for greener pastures.

Its a wave of rebuild and then going all-in and then starting all over again. Not discounting the work of the general manager in any league, its just different enough. Generally the skills tend to transfer upwards, but Roy doesn’t strike me as a big personable guy, a skill that is important for an NHL GM.

Ultimately I believe that Patrick Roy holds the key to his future in his own hands. If he wishes to come back to the NHL I am sure that at least one team will be desperate enough to take him. Probably not straight to general manager, but somewhere. But, again, it depends on if Roy takes the job.

I wouldn’t put my money on Roy coming back, but wouldn’t be surprised if he did. For now, he seems content with working with the Remparts and it’s time to celebrate his major accomplishment and win. Congrats Mr. Roy!

A Winning Habit
A Winning Habit /

Want your voice heard? Join the A Winning Habit team!

Write for us!

Three Players Habs Can Pick After Shane Wright. light. Must Read