NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 12, 2016
Patrick Roy resigned from the Avalanche, updates on Jacob Trouba, Sean Monahan & more in this morning’s NHL headlines.
THE DENVER POST: Patrick Roy surprised the hockey world yesterday by resigning as Colorado Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations. Roy cited difference of opinion in the club’s direction as the reason behind this move.Terry Frei reports Roy felt he didn’t have sufficient input in player personnel decisions. Roy’s resignation caught Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic by surprise. Sakic said he believed he and Roy were on the same page, that there was no disagreement over player personnel decisions and Roy was kept fully informed.
The move leaves Sakic scrambling to find a new head coach with training camp opening next month and the start of the regular season only two months away. Current assistant coaches (Dave Farrish, Tim Army and Nolan Pratt) aren’t in the running. Frei speculates former Avs bench boss Bob Hartley and current Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen could be candidates.
Mark Kiszla believes Roy grew impatient with losing and opted to quit. Kiszla singles out what he considers the “mamby-pamby approach by Sakic and Avalanche president Josh Kroenke’s to restoring the Avs’ lost luster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roy seemed to favor more aggressive moves via trades and free agency to bolster the Avalanche roster, whereas the Sakic camp is taking a more patient approach. Roy also noted the club was lacking depth in draft picks. It’s also believed Roy wasn’t enamored with defenseman Tyson Barrie, who was recently re-signed to a four-year contract.
Much of the reaction I’ve seen from Avalanche fans to Roy’s resignation indicates they’re not sorry to see him go. While Roy did win the Adams Trophy in 2014 as NHL coach of the year, the Avs were often among the league’s worst defensive clubs during his tenure. He was also known to be dismissive of advanced stats, which often had his club near the bottom of the league in puck possession.
As for his replacement, the return of Hartley seems a strong possibility, given his former ties to Sakic and the team. He also won the Adams in 2015. I’m sure we’ll see more speculation on this in the coming days.
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector believes the reason the Winnipeg Jets haven’t re-signed defenseman Jacob Trouba yet is they have to be sure if he’ll blossom into a top-pairing defenseman before handing him a lucrative long-term deal. He also notes the Calgary Flames need to be sure Sean Monahan is fully capable of being a first-line center and that Johnny Gaudreau has the stamina to remain a top-10 scorer before handing them expensive new contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the reluctance on the Jets part regarding Trouba, whose development stalled last season. Monahan and Gaudreau, however, have steadily improved since their NHL debuts. Still, if the Jets and Flames want to play hardball and insist on inexpensive bridge deals or long-term, cap-friendly deals, there’s little these three can do about it. They’re coming off entry-level contracts and have little leverage.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Las Vegas’ NHL expansion franchise has registered the nicknames Red Hawks, Nighthawks and Desert Hawks. Team owner Bill Foley also said he could soon register two more names. The club is expected to reveal it’s name, logo and jersey in late-September or early-October.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like the sound of the Las Vegas Nighthawks.
NEW YORK POST: Brendan Burke is the new TV voice of the New York Islanders.
CAP FRIENDLY: reports forward Nick Spaling, who played last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks, signed with Switzerland’s Geneve-Servette HC.