The Colorado Avalanche reached an agreement in principle with Patrick Roy to become the franchise’s next coach and vice president of hockey operations, the National Hockey League team said.
The Avalanche will hold a news conference next week in Denver to formally introduce Roy, the team said on its website.
“This is an unbelievable day for me,” Roy said yesterday in a statement on the team’s website. “It’s a new and exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to. 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, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 after retiring with the most regular-season wins in NHL history (551). He is a four-time Stanley Cup champion and the winningest goaltender in NHL playoff history with 151 postseason wins. He also is the only player in league history to win three Conn Smythe trophies as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs, in 1986, 1993 and 2001.
For the last eight seasons, Roy has been 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 in 544 regular-season games.
“Patrick’s passion for the game of hockey both as a player and as a coach defines who he is as a person,” Avalanche President Josh Kroenke said in a statement. “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, the only goaltender in NHL history to win 200 or more games with two different teams, was goalie for the Montreal Canadiens when they won Stanley Cup championships in his rookie year of 1986 and again in 1993. He was traded to the Avalanche on Dec. 6, 1995, and led the team to the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. He was an 11-time All-Star.
“Patrick has a great hockey mind, is a tremendous coach and there is no one more passionate about this game,” said Joe Sakic, Colorado’s executive vice president of hockey operations. “He will bring that winning attitude to our dressing room to help this young team grow.”