The Columbus Blue Jackets are on the verge of naming their new head coach this week, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch today. It will culminate a weeks-long search that began April 15, when the team announced they fired previous head coach Brad Larsen after finishing last in the Eastern Conference.
One name that has been gaining traction in the rumor mill is former NHL player and coach Patrick Roy. The highly accomplished netminder, who enjoyed an up-and-down coaching stint with the Colorado Avalanche in the mid-2010s, has reportedly been interviewed for the Blue Jackets’ coaching position, per Hedger. However, it’s worth noting that Sergei Fedorov, another prominent former player associated with the franchise in recent reports, was not interviewed for the job, Hedger said.
Roy was last seriously linked to an NHL job in 2019, as he was a leading contender for the Ottawa Senators’ vacancy. Noise has never really gone away about a potential NHL return, though, and he’s currently coaching his Québec Remparts of the QMJHL in the Memorial Cup.
To begin his three-season spell with Colorado, Roy demanded a significant front-office role, assuming the position of Vice President of Hockey Operations in addition to his head coaching duties. However, after just one playoff appearance in three years, Roy abruptly resigned a month before training camp in 2016-17, citing the team’s failure to act upon his roster recommendations as the primary reason for his departure.
Given Roy’s past demands for an expanded role and subsequent fallout with the Avalanche, it remains to be seen if the Blue Jackets’ management would be receptive to his aspirations for a dual position or if Roy would be willing to relinquish some responsibility. Mike Babcock, Peter Laviolette, and Pascal Vincent are other names linked to Columbus throughout their coaching search.