DENVER - Patrick Roy is the new head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced Thursday.
The team said it has reached an agreement in principle with Roy to become the franchise's head coach and vice president of hockey operations. Due to the Memorial Day weekend, the Avalanche will hold a press conference next week in Denver to formally introduce Roy.
In addition to his head coaching duties, Roy will also work with his former teammate, Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, Joe Sakic, in all player personnel decisions.
"This is an unbelievable day for me," said Roy. "It's a new and exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to. I would like to thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity as well as Joe Sakic for the trust they are putting in me. Almost 10 years to the day that I announced my retirement as a player I am back in Denver and hope the fans are as excited as I am."
Roy, 47, becomes the sixth head coach in Avalanche history and the 14th in franchise history.
"All along Patrick was our top candidate and we are thrilled that he has decided to accept this offer,” said Sakic. "Patrick has a great hockey mind, is a tremendous coach and there is no one more passionate about this game. He will bring that winning attitude to our dressing room to help this young team grow."
"This is a very exciting day for our fans and a significant moment in our organization's history," said Avalanche President Josh Kroenke. "Patrick's passion for the game of hockey both as a player and as a coach defines who he is as a person. He is a winner and is coming back to Denver where he created numerous special moments on and off the ice while helping lead us to two Stanley Cup championships."
Roy's brother, Stephane Roy, broke the news Monday on his Facebook page. He posted, "For all my friends, I'd like you to know before all the news spreads out that my older brother will be the new head coach of the Colorado Avalanche."
Sakic, at the time, could not confirm that report but did say Roy was indeed a candidate for the job. Roy turned down the Avs' head coaching job in 2009 for family reasons.
Roy has spent the last eight seasons as head coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He guided the Remparts to a 348-196-0 record (.640) in 544 regular season games behind the bench, which included leading Quebec to the 2006 Memorial Cup title as the Canadian Hockey League champions. He is also a part owner of the QMJHL franchise.
Roy, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, retired with the most regular season wins in NHL history (551), a number that currently ranks second all-time. The four-time Stanley Cup champion is still the winningest goaltender in Stanley Cup Playoff history with 151 postseason wins. Roy is the only player in league history to win three Conn Smythe Trophies as the playoff MVP (1986, 1993, 2001).
The Quebec City native backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to two Stanley Cup championships (1986, 1993), the first of which was his rookie campaign. Traded to Colorado on Dec. 6, 1995, Roy led the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup during the club's first season in Denver (1996) and again in 2001. He is the only goaltender in NHL history to win 200 or more games with two different teams.
Roy won three Vezina Trophies (1989, 1990, 1992) and five William Jennings Trophies (1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2002). He was selected to the NHL All-Star Team on six occasions, the first team in 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 2001-02 and second team in 1987-88 and 1990-91. He participated in 11 NHL All-Star Games and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1985-86.
When Roy announced his retirement on May 28, 2003, he was the NHL’s all-time leader in not only wins but also regular season games (1029), minutes (60,225) and 30-win seasons (13), marks that now all rank second. In addition to being first overall in postseason wins, Roy is still the NHL record holder in career playoff games (247) and is second in postseason shutouts (23).
Roy, who is the Avalanche’s all-time leader in nearly every statistical category, had his No. 33 retired by the organization on Oct. 28, 2003.
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