When Patrick Roy suddenly resigned as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche last week the hockey world, along with GM Joe Sakic, was stunned to say the least. While Sakic said all the right things, and refused to throw his former teammate under the bus, Terry Frei from the Denver Post writes that it was how their relationship had developed that caused Roy to exit so abruptly.
In the piece, Frei writes that though Roy had a big impact on personnel and development decisions in his first three years, as someone holding a vice-president of hockey operations should, he’d been slowly edged out as Sakic gained more confidence and experience on the job. To quote Frei: “Did he quit on the Avs? Sure, he did. As coach. Because he thought he had been fired as a VP.”
The Avalanche are still looking for someone to fill the head coaching role, and as Frei reports, Sakic has indicated that none of the current assistant coaches are being considered. We profiled five candidates here who may find their phones ringing at some point, though many are already under contract with another team, if in a lesser role.
- The Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes continued today, with the final team meetings taking place. Multiple reports have current players attending the meetings in order to sway his decision, with John Tavares being one of the biggest names confirmed (via James Mirtle). Though the Islanders may still be seen as outsiders, a promised role next to Tavares is definitely something any player would have to consider, and with P.A. Parenteau currently penciled in, it wouldn’t take much to offer it. Other teams are obviously offering similar things, with Jonathan Toews (link) and Auston Matthews (link) both in Boston to meet the Harvard grad.
- In his latest column, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal posits that the Oilers will never be successful while they keep trotting out a few weak-links, despite the obvious top-end talent on the roster. In analyzing the roster, Staples references Chris Anderson and David Salley’s book “The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong“, and applies their “O-ring player” idea to some recent Oilers like Anton Lander, Mark Fayne and Mark Letestu. While a team can’t have NHL stars in every roster spot, it’s these weak-links that are holding the team back from ever capitalizing on their young stars’ success.