NHL Mid-August 2016 Musings

by | Aug 14, 2016 | Soapbox | 7 comments

Patrick Roy's temperamental nature didn't help to improve the Colorado Avalanche.

Patrick Roy’s temperamental nature didn’t help to improve the Colorado Avalanche.

 As a goaltender, Patrick Roy was among the best in NHL history. He backstopped two teams (Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche) to four Stanley Cups, winning three Vezina Trophies as top goalie and becoming the only player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP three times.

As coach, general manager and owner of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, he guided that club to the 2006 Memorial Cup championship. They also topped the Eastern Division in three straight seasons from 2009 to 2011.

In Roy’s first season (2013-14) as an NHL coach, he guided the Avalanche to their first playoff appearance since 2010. As a result, he won the Jack Adams Award in 2014 as the league’s coach of the year.

For all those accomplishments, however, Roy probably did himself no favors by abruptly resigning last week as the Avs bench boss and VP of hockey operations.

Roy is renowned for his driven, temperamental nature. While it served him well as an NHL star and in running the Remparts, it couldn’t overcome the fact the Avalanche regressed over the last two seasons. Reports suggest Roy wanted the Avs to make some big moves this year via trades and free agency to bolster their lineup. Instead, they re-signed youngsters Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie to lucrative new contracts.

It appears a difference of opinion in the direction of the Avs lead to his departure. Some observers, however, suggest this move proves Roy isn’t a team player, preferring to have total control over player personnel decisions.

The NHL probably hasn’t seen the last of Patrick Roy. Perhaps he will attempt a return to the NHL in a general manager’s role. That could be best suited to his domineering personality. However, his demanding ways could make life very uncomfortable for any coach under his employ.

 

Nearly six weeks after being traded from the Nashville Predators to the Canadiens for P.K. Subban, defenseman Shea Weber traveled to Montreal and met with reporters for the first time.

If you’re wondering why such a big deal is being made over this, Weber probably asked himself the same question.

Weber is no rube. He knows he’s going from a market in Nashville where he didn’t face all-encompassing media coverage to a fishbowl existence in hockey-mad Montreal. He handled his first meeting with the press – along with the inevitable comparison questions about Subban – rather well.

But that was just a small taste of what Weber can expect in his first season with the Canadiens. Unlike the happy-go-lucky, media-savvy Subban, Weber isn’t exactly a ready-made quote machine. He could find that fishbowl existence rather annoying after a while, especially if the Habs fail to notably improve in 2016-17.

 

Unrestricted free agent defenseman James Wisniewski last week signed a professional tryout offer with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It leaves one wondering how many of this summer’s remaining UFAs might follow his lead?

NHL training camps will open in less than a month. However, notabe UFAs such as winger Jiri Hudler, defenseman Kris Russell, right wing Radim Vrbata, forward Brandon Pirri and blueliner Kyle Quincey have yet to land new contracts.

Some of them could ink deals with new teams in the coming weeks, albeit much shorter contracts for far less than they envisioned when the UFA market opened on July 1.

Others, however, could find themselves accepting training camp tryout offers in hopes of continuing their NHL careers.

 

The members of Team USA’s 1996 World Cup of Hockey roster will be inducted this fall into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

It’s a notable honor for that roster, which includes Hockey Hall of Famers Brett Hull, Chris Chelios, Brian Leetch and Mike Modano. They upset heavily-favored Canada to win that tournament, marking the first time in international tournaments involving NHL players than the United States bested their northern rivals.

That victory was also instrumental in the United States’ emergence from Canada’s shadow on the international hockey stage. Its influence upon American youth hockey cannot be understated. Today’s American-born NHL stars, such as Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Jonathan Quick and Phil Kessel, can trace their big-league careers back to the inspiration of the ’96 Team USA squad.







7 Comments

  1. The Leafs have made great strides the past two years. However so much is being lost to fans watching the games on TV. Paul Romanuck is the worst broadcaster and seems to be the designated one by Rogers to broadcast the Leaf games. He carries on with superfluous comments while play is going on, does not always identify players correctly How do we get him replaced????

    • Romanuk is a great example of the sad state of current NHL telecasts in Canada. TSN is the answer to your question but that might take a while. There’s always the mute button.

    • Mute the TV and turn on the radio…its much better

      • Thats what I did during the playoffs when Healy and Kypreos’s Crosby asskissing drove me nuts.

  2. While it does not look good the way Roy is going about it if it ends up being true that they don’t improve or worse yet regress this season then one can’t so easily blame Roy and maybe his ideas for personnel moves should have been considered more seriously.

  3. Patrick Roy is yet another example of how success on the playing does not always translate into success in management or coaching; the success with the Remparts aside.

    Just ask the Oiler fan faithful. Their run in 06 was not about great management and was a Cinderella story at best.

    Chiarelli is doing well at methodically dismantling the Oiler debacle created by Lowe/ McTavish.

    Flipping RNH, Eberle, and Yakupov for some defence may prove difficult however after Larsson for Hall. But don’t forget the Oilers needed to make that deal to clear space for Lucic. One of the aforementioned forwards listed above should be dangled to lure Fowler out of Anaheim.

    Landing Fowler might also require a pick. The other two could be used to lure Shattenkirk; or this could all be vice versa for that matter.

    Imagine the Oilers with Nurse, Klefbom, Larsson, Shattenkirk, and Fowler to start the season!

    I know I started this post on Patrick Roy but am so excited about the Oilers and Leafs of the future and can’t wait for the next all Canadian duel a la the Flames and Habs of the past! Of course this battle included Roy so I went full circle?.

    Imagine Leafs/ Oilers final of 2019! Book it here as my prediction. Can’t wait!

  4. Patrick Roy…about Patrick Roy all the time…

    Good riddance,