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Patrick Roy turns down Avalanche coaching offer

Wednesday, 05.27.2009 / 12:31 PM / News

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy won't be coming back to Colorado to try to lead the Avalanche back to respectability.

Roy turned down an offer to coach the Avalanche, who are reeling from their worst finish since moving to Denver in 1995 and have very little financial maneuverability.

The Denver Post first reported Roy's decision on the newspaper's Web site Wednesday.

Both sides had refused for weeks to confirm that Roy had been offered Tony Granato's coaching job.

Roy phoned Avalanche president Pierre Lacroix late Tuesday night to tell him he won't accept the team's offer, citing family reasons, according to both a spokesman for the Avalanche and a spokeswoman for the junior league club Roy co-owns and coaches.

A news conference was scheduled for later Wednesday in Quebec to announce Roy is staying with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"He made the decision last night that he's staying," Nicole Bouchard, the Remparts' director of media relations, told The Associated Press.

Roy met with Lacroix in Denver on May 7, about three weeks after general manager Francois Giguere was fired following Colorado's last-place finish in the West. Colorado's 32-45-5 mark was the franchise's worst since moving from Quebec to Denver in 1995.

The Post reported that Roy wasn't shutting the door on ever returning to the Avs, whom he led to Stanley Cup titles in 1999 and 2001, but that he needed to spend time with his family right now.

Team spokesman Jean Martineau told the AP that Roy had indeed been offered the job after meeting with Lacroix in Denver on May 7 and that Roy had asked for a few of weeks to contemplate the offer. Martineau declined to say whether Roy had also been offered the Avs' vacant general manager job but said the search continues for "individuals who might be a part of the new management structure."

Martineau said Granato, who has two years left on his contract, is still Colorado's coach.

"The only thing I can tell you is Patrick called Pierre Lacroix last night and said for family reasons he was staying with the Quebec Remparts this season," Martineau said. "We confirmed he met with Pierre a couple of weeks ago and Patrick said he needed a couple of weeks to decide if he was ready to come back to the NHL and to the United States."

Earlier this month, Roy had denied receiving an offer from his old NHL team, and there was a report in Montreal that he also had been offered the Avalanche's vacant general manager's job, perhaps as a way to sweeten the offer should the Canadiens also try to hire him.

Roy began his standout career in Montreal before leading Colorado to two championships. He retired in 2003 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Last year, Roy said he wanted to stay in Quebec to coach his sons, Jonathan and Frederick, and while they are no longer playing for their father, they are starting new ventures in their lives and Roy felt it was important to be closer to them, The Post reported.

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory