RIMOUSKI, Que. - Count ex-teammate Warren Rychel as one who thinks Patrick Roy would make an excellent NHL coach.
Rychel, now general manager and co-owner of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires, said Tuesday that Roy's fiery nature and will to win could help make the Colorado Avalanche a league power again.
"He has a lot of passion for life and passion for the game - it's all about heart with him," said Rychel, Roy's teammate with the Avalanche in the 1990s. "I think he'd be an excellent leader.
"He'd command respect right away. His refusal to lose is the biggest thing he'll instil in his players. He doesn't like to lose."
Roy, the Hall of Fame goaltender who is co-owner, general manager and coach of the junior Quebec Remparts, was expected to arrive at the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament on Tuesday night when Rychel's struggling Spitfires were scheduled to face the Kelowna Rockets.
On Monday, Roy denied a report in the Denver Post quoting NHL sources that he has been offered Tony Granato's job as head coach of the Avalanche.
Roy met with Colorado president Pierre Lacroix on May 7 in Denver. He admitted they talked about "my future" but added "that's about it for now."
Roy's No. 33 has been retired by both the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he won Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993, and the Avalanche, whom he led to Cups in 1996 and 2001.
The Quebec City native retired from the NHL in 2003 and took over as coach of the Remparts in 2005, leading them to a Memorial Cup in his first season.
His return to Quebec City has been marked by controversy. Last season, he was suspended five games and fined $4,000 after his son Jonathan attacked opposing goalie Bobby Nadeau of Chicoutimi during a playoff game.
Rychel said Roy's temperament could be an asset as an NHL coach.
"I love it," said Rychel, a tough forward who played for Colorado in 1995-96 and again from 1997 until he retired in 1999. "That's just showing his passion and will to win.
"He got his fine and he moved on. He's intense and he'd be really good."
Rychel added that Roy could restore a sense of pride to the Avalanche, who finished last in the Western Conference last season.
But Roy has much to consider.
As much as he would likely relish the challenge of coaching in the NHL, leaving Quebec would be a major blow to the Remparts.
Under Roy, the team's attendance has doubled to nearly 12,000 per game. He is also a hands-on coach and administrator who is involved in nearly every decision affecting the team.
In Quebec City, there is speculation that Ray Bourque's son Ryan may not join the Remparts, who drafted him last year, if Roy is not there.
Shugg out - Spitfires winger Justin Shugg suffered a broken collarbone when he was hit by Rimouski defenceman Marc-Andre Bourdon at 8:04 of the third period of the Oceanic's 5-4 victory on Sunday.
Rychel called it "a clean, fair hit."
Auston Watson was to take his place for the game Tuesday night against Kelowna.
Coach Bob Boughner said 17-year-old Shugg would need about six weeks to recover.
"It's too bad he didn't get to play in the whole tournament," said Boughner. "But he's young.
"He's a big part of the future of this team. He won't be draft-eligible until 2011. He's a guy we're looking at for 30-plus goals and to play on the power play."