Roy’s departure gives Avalanche a much needed change
Reports came out on Thursday afternoon that Patrick Roy would be leaving the Colorado Avalanche. Roy, 50, spent eight seasons as a player with Colorado and the past three seasons coaching them. Roy was also Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Roy’s departure comes just a few weeks before training camp. The Avalanche hadn’t made the playoffs since the 2013-2014 season when they were carried by the stellar play of Semyon Varlamov. Colorado finished 39-39-4 last year putting them 21st in the league.
Roy’s tenure as coach of Colorado is highlighted by two main points: pulling the goaltender early and poor analytics. The first one is purely strategy, and whether you agree with it or not, it’s what Roy preferred to do. The latter can be attributed to the players, but a good coach could’ve done more to fix it. It will be interesting to see how the new man in charge views advanced stats.
Roy, the 2014 Jack Adams winner, becomes the second coach that has won the award this offseason to leave his team. Bob Hartley in Calgary, the 2015 winner, was fired shortly after the season ended.
Although it is late in the offseason, there are still many coaching options available. Travis Green from the Utica Comets didn’t get the Ducks job and is considered one of the top young coaches in hockey. Paul MacLean, who has spent his time in Anaheim after being fired by Ottawa, is another option. Marc Crawford, who coached Colorado to a Cup in 1996, is still out there and itching for a return to NHL coaching. Lastly, the Avalanche could use the internal route to replace Roy. AHL head coach Eric Vellieux could get the gig. One of Tim Army, Dave Farrish, or Nolan Pratt, Roy’s assistants, could as well.
Roy leaves the Avalanche in a vulnerable position and Joe Sakic and company do not have a lot of time on their hands. However, things still have the possibility of working out. Change was certainly needed in Colorado and Roy leaving on his own terms is the perfect opportunity to invoke it.