Lafleur says Roy's emotion and frankness would make him too inviting a target for the media, especially after a defeat.
''Patrick is impulsive and a guy who says what he thinks,'' Lafleur told The Canadian Press on Tuesday while attending an event to promote awareness about children's mental health.
''When you win, the media are OK, but when you lose, you become a target. And Patrick, as coach, would be more of a media target because of his temperament.
''I'm not saying he couldn't do it, but I'd see him more as general manager.''
The Canadiens recently fired GM Pierre Gauthier as the team limped toward the end of a disastrous season.
And they will also probably be looking for a new coach this spring to replace Randy Cunneyworth, whose coaching title carries the ''interim'' tag.
Lafleur said the Canadiens' season was difficult to accept, especially as he travelled extensively across Canada over the past year and was constantly grilled by inquisitive fans.
''It hurts and it's a bit embarrassing to talk about the Montreal Canadiens during situations like that.''
But Lafleur wasn't surprised by the team's failure to make the playoffs, noting the Canadiens have often just squeaked in over the past few years.
Lafleur also welcomes the decision by Habs owner Geoff Molson to hire former GM Serge Savard to help in the search for Gauthier's successor.
The former all-star right-winger believes his ex-teammate on the high-flying Habs teams of the 1970s still has contacts galore in the world of hockey.