The Patrick Roy coaching era is officially underway in Colorado.
The Avalanche held a news conference on Tuesday in Denver to introduce (or re-introduce) Roy to the media, announcing him as the new coach and vice president of hockey operations. Roy's contract is for four years with an option for a fifth, but that contract isn't guaranteed.
After some short statements from Roy, Joe Sakic and Josh Kroenke, Roy took questions from reporters. The big buzzword was "fans" as Roy continually mentioned doing this for the fans and getting the Avs back to being a Stanley Cup contender. Whether they are or not, Roy promises that the Avalanche will have the attitude that they are contenders.
"This is an unbelievable day for me," Roy said. "It's a new and exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to. I would like to thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity as well as Joe Sakic for the trust they are putting in me. Almost 10 years to the day that I announced my retirement as a player I am back in Denver and hope the fans are as excited as I am."
In addition to coaching duties, Roy will have a role in hockey operations. No, it's not just a title on paper; it's going to give Roy quite a bit of power, as Ren Lavoie of RDS reports.
Holy smokes, if you thought it was going to be fun with Roy being a coach and dealing with the media on a daily basis, this puts that to shame. While we likely won't be privy to much, that's a wrinkly and a half.
It's important to note that Roy, who won two Stanley Cups during his time as the Avalanche's goaltender from 1996-2003, does have experience making such decisions. While with the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL in the last decade, he served multiple roles in addition to coach. But he also admitted in his news conference on Tuesday that he hasn't kept up with the NHL as much as a lot of people expect. If he's going to be doing the trade talks, he better get a crash course in a hurry -- the offseason isn't far away.
As to that role, Roy said it wasn't something he required to be the coach; it was something he discussed with Sakic and liked the sound of. He did make clear, though, that he would have taken the job as coach with our without the VP of Hockey Ops title.
Meanwhile, GM Greg Sherman remains completely absent in all of this commotion. He wasn't mentioned in Tuesday's news conference, nor was he present. (I can't remember a GM not being there for a coach to be introduced.) Now he's being cut out of the trade talks, too? I guess that says enough about his future with the franchise, which was in question coming into this offseason.