9:56 a.m. CT: Roy told the media this morning that “absolutely [no]” NHL team has reached out to him yet about a coaching position.
9:35 a.m. CT: NHL head coaching hopeful Patrick Roy announced today he’s leaving his post with the QMJHL’s Québec Remparts, reports TVA Sports. Roy and his Remparts just won the 2023 Memorial Cup, defeating the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds with a shutout win in the final game.
It’s quite auspicious timing for the announcement, given the sale of the Ottawa Senators to Michael Andlauer was agreed upon in principle this morning. Roy, who’s been connected to Senators coaching vacancies in the past, could be a leading candidate if the team decides to move on from D.J. Smith behind the bench this summer under new ownership.
Roy last coached in the NHL in 2016, serving as the head coach and VP of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche before abruptly quitting during training camp preceding the 2016-17 campaign. He was succeeded by Jared Bednar, who guided the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup in over two decades in 2022.
After taking two years off, Roy returned to the Remparts as GM and head coach in 2018. Before joining the Avalanche, he had been Québec’s coach between 2005 and 2013 and general manager since retiring from the NHL in 2003. He also owned the Remparts from 1997 to 2014.
Roy has a penchant for a defensive style of play as a coach, an area where the Senators have struggled in recent seasons. One would argue, though, with the standout individual defensive performances of players like Artem Zub, that it’s more of a personnel issue than a coaching one. Nevertheless, if he does end up behind the Senators’ bench, improving the team’s defensive systems would be his first priority.