21 May 2013
Adrian Dater reports, that Stephane Roy's, Patrick Roy's brother, has said that Roy (Patrick, not Stephane) is going to be the next coach of the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs, for their part, are not commenting on it because the organization looked deep into Medusa's eyes years ago rendering them incapable of commenting on anything.
I have mixed feelings on whether or not Patrick Roy will be a good head coach. I have mixed feelings about legends coming back to coach the team they achieved greatness with. I just have no idea what kind of coach Roy will be. The good news is that I think coaches generally get too much credit and too much blame for their teams' success and failure so I don't think it's as big of a deal (on the ice) as some people.
Where I have the most concerns is that I haven't heard of them even interviewing another candidate yet. It's possible they have (they are notoriously secretive) but Dallas Eakins (Toronto Marlies) & Tippett (still Phoenix Coyotes), at least, are both unavailable for interview, so the Avs clearly have not even vetted them yet (Eakins' Marlies were eliminated tonight). Lindy Ruff is, but a high profile coach like that would have likely garnered a report somewhere. Same with a guy like Guy Carbonneau.
Now maybe Roy is the first guy that has been brought in to interview, and is the early favorite to boot, and this is the first step in an truly exhaustive coaching search. In which case this is all just good fun rostercoacherbation. I hope this is the case, and there are leaks about other interviews. If the job goes to roy after that, then that's great news.
But, as of right now, it has a whiff of the Avs business as usual: not doing their due diligence or doing a full search for a coach. In 2008 Tony Granato was hired after no coaching search what so ever. Here's what I wrote about it then:
In fact I have nothing against Granato (we'll get to that in a minute), it was the way in which the search played out that really bothers me. The Avs didn't even bring Dineen, McLellan, or Burns in for a courtesy interview. Is Granato, mastermind of the kitten-killing powerplay, really that impressive that he deserves to be hired before even talking to qualified candidates? He may end up being a fine coach, but then again Kineen, McLellan may too, and waiting for an interview with either candidate certainly certainly would have done no harm. Both are promising young coaches and to not even give them the light of day is really unacceptable.
Then Granato flamed out spectacularly, in one of the worst Avs seasons of all time, and GM Francois Giguere was fired, Granato was fired, and Joe Sacco was hired the day after the GM was hired (meaning Sherman had little to no choice in his own coach). I wrote a more profanity laced post that essentially said the same thing:
Well Pierre Lacroix has clearly gone insane. Today it was revealed that he is promoting an unproven, and some could make the argument an unsuccessful, coach from within the orginization to run the team without even bothering to do a token search for someone who might actually have soem hockey knowledge and happens to be working within a different organization. Somehow promoting this greenhorn, who has very little success as a coach, is going to turn the Avs into contenders.
After Joe Sacco was fired this year Terry Frei, probably the most astute and well informed Avs observer there is, wrote an excellent column in which this he seems nearly prophetic with a single line:
No coaching search can be credible until the direction of the organization and the future makeup of the front office is clear.
Can a credible coaching search consist of one candidate?
Maybe this cynicism is a bit alienating, but this is the third time I've written a variation of this post in the last 5 years. Over that time the Avs have more top-5 draft picks than playoff wins. They have been at or near the bottom in total salary. The front office shake-up was supposed to change things, but the very early first indication is more of the same.