Patrick Roy has a few more grey hairs. He’s also become a little more patient at his ripe, but still competitive age of 47. But only just a little.
“Rest assured, I will bring the same passion to my new role with the team that I did when I was a player,” he said.
Roy isn’t fickle, not even ten years to the day after his retirement when he was officially introduced as head coach of the Avalanche. It’s this consistency of intensity that made him one of the greatest goalies to ever wear the pads and endeared him to fans in the Mile High City.
He set marks in games played (1,029), wins (551) and Conn Smythe trophies (3) that others gauge themselves and also led Colorado to a pair of Stanley Cups, in 1996 and 2001. Yet, the memory that is a close second, as teammate Paul Stastny said, to those championships was his unabated comments to Jeremy Roenick during his first playoff run.
His supreme effort, drive and passion, edging in on ire, that defined the Hall of Famer as a goaltender made him Executive Vice President of Hockey Operation, and former teammate, Joe Sakic’s first choice to become head coach.
“What I’m looking for is a group that’s going to work hard every night,” Roy said. “We might not win the Stanley Cup next year, but one thing that I know; we are going to have a Stanley Cup attitude.”
The Avalanche were the NHL’s second to worst team, finishing with only 39 points (equivalent to 66 points in a full length season). Roy, admitting that the lack of success may have played a part, maybe only subconsciously, in his coming back, gladly accepted the offer.
“I am going to get to know the players,” Roy said about his first order of business as head coach. “I haven’t followed the Avalanche as much over the last couple of years, but I know there is a lot of talent on this team and I think it would be fun for me to work with them.”