The speculation has been shouted all week, ever since his brother Stephane came out and said Patrick Roy would be hired as the next head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Really, it's been off the charts for years though, as the legendary Avs goalie has led the Quebec Remparts to success in the QMJHL and Colorado has fallen out of relevancy in the NHL.
The Avalanche announced officially on Thursday afternoon that Roy, the Hall of Fame goaltender who led Colorado to two Stanley Cup titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s, will take over as head coach and VP of Hockey Operations. He's the sixth head coach in team history.
"All along Patrick was our top candidate and we are thrilled that he has decided to accept this offer," said Joe Sakic, the other Avs legend who recently took over as Executive VP of Hockey Ops. "Patrick has a great hockey mind, is a tremendous coach and there is no one more passionate about this game. He will bring that winning attitude to our dressing room to help this young team grow."
Roy and Sakic will work hand-in-hand on all hockey operations decisions. Greg Sherman, the general manager, will have some input as well.
"This is an unbelievable day for me," said Roy. "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."
Roy has led the Remparts, the Q team he partially owns, for eight seasons. They won the Memorial Cup in 2006, the same year Roy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and compiled a 348-196 overall record in the regular season under Roy's leadership. Roy has never held a professional head coaching job, and as Dale Hunter learned in Washington a year ago, bringing back a franchise legend from the junior ranks to the NHL game as coach doesn't necessarily work out all the time.
But at the very least, the Avalanche under Sakic and Roy will be an interesting, relevant team in 2013-14, and that's more than the organization has been able to say for years. Throw in a No. 1 overall pick this summer which could add local boy and top prospect Seth Jones to the mix, and the Avs are officially a team to watch next year. They might not be very good, but at least they'll be interesting.