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Roy wants to coach, but isn't sure of the timing

Thursday, 05.21.2009 / 1:44 PM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Patrick Roy is at a crossroads in his young coaching career and it appears he's not quite sure what his next move should be.

The Hall of Fame goalie, who is rumored to be a candidate to replace Tony Granato as coach of the Colorado Avalanche, told a Toronto radio station Wednesday that Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix contacted him in January about the possibility of him coming to Denver to discuss his season sometime this spring.

Roy, who is the co-owner, general manager and coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, met with Lacroix earlier this month, but said he has not received any formal offer to coach the Avalanche. He has no NHL coaching experience.

Granato has two years left on his contract to coach the Avalanche, but his position became tenuous when Lacroix, who served as Roy's agent when the goalie was in his prime, relieved GM Francois Giguere of his duties following a disappointing 2008-09 season.

The Avalanche finished last in the Western Conference for the first time in their history.

"I went there and we chatted a bit about everything," Roy said on the Bill Watters Show on Toronto's 640 AM. "He wanted to know what was my intention and what was my future. A big part of my decisions are not made about if I'm able to coach in the NHL or if I'm ready to step up or test that challenge -- it's more about family, it's about my children and this is where my decision is going to have to be made."

Roy's two sons, Jonathan and Frederick, played for him in Quebec. However, Jonathan is embarking on a new career in music and Frederick plans to go to Los Angeles for school. He also has a daughter, Jana.
"I have had a lot of fun working at the junior level, but you always question yourself, 'Can I do it better? Can I do it at the big level?' It's all kind of questions that you have in your mind. I'm not saying I want to do it, but I have to think about it." -- Patrick Roy
"All these things are making me think that maybe (coaching in the NHL) is something that I want to do, but is it the right timing?" Roy said on the radio station. "This is what I have to think all about."

Roy, 43, played 7 1/2 seasons for the Avalanche, helping them to Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. He took over as GM of the Remparts after retiring from the NHL, and in 2005 named himself coach.

"When I retired, to be honest with you, (coaching) was not something I had in mind," Roy said on the radio. "I enjoyed my 18 years (in the NHL). They were great. All of a sudden I decided to be GM of the junior team and I enjoyed those first two years, but I felt I was too far away from the ice. I wanted to be closer and more involved and then I decided to become coach and GM. That's when I started to have a lot of fun. I felt alive."

Roy led the Remparts to the Memorial Cup in 2006 and now, four years into his coaching career, he's beginning to wonder if he's ready for an NHL job. The Avalanche clearly are wondering, as well. 

However, it should be noted that no coach in the NHL today went straight from a head-coaching job in the QMJHL to a head-coaching job in the NHL without any prior professional coaching experience. Alain Vigneault jumped from the QMJHL to the Montreal Canadiens in 1997, but he had four seasons as an NHL assistant on his resume.

However, what Roy is mulling is at least not unprecedented.

Brent Sutter (WHL) and Peter DeBoer (OHL) each made the jump directly to their current head-coaching jobs in the NHL with no prior professional experience.

"I have had a lot of fun working at the junior level, but you always question yourself, 'Can I do it better? Can I do it at the big level?'" Roy said. "It's all kind of questions that you have in your mind. I'm not saying I want to do it, but I have to think about it."

"I don't feel I have to make a decision yet because I have no solid offer," he added. "It's been just talk so far to see what I wanted to do and it's nothing more than that."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com.

Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential