Roy to Montreal Speculation Begins

by | Aug 12, 2016 | Rumors | 55 comments

Could Patrick Roy one day become coach of the Montreal Canadiens?

Could Patrick Roy one day become coach of the Montreal Canadiens?

 Hours after Patrick Roy resigned as the Colorado Avalanche’s head coach, speculation emerged linking him to the Montreal Canadiens. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  Stu Cowan reports Patrick Roy’s resignation yesterday as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche could turn up the heat on Montreal Canadiens bench boss Michel Therrien, who’s come under increasing criticism from fans and pundits after the Habs missed the playoffs last season. Cowan speculates a poor start by the Canadiens in the upcoming season could put Therrien on a short leash.

Team owner Geoff Molson’s made it clear a French-speaking coach is a very important factor for the club. Cowan doubts, however, GM Marc Bergevin is in a rush to replace Therrien, who is signed through 2021-22. With the club having dealt away a larger-than-life personality this summer in defenseman P.K. Subban, Cowan doesn’t see Bergevin and Molson being in any hurry to bring in another.  

SI.COM: Allan Muir suggests Therrien “better hope Carey Price stays healthy, and that the Canadiens get off to a great start. If not, St. Patrick’s Day could come early to Montreal.”

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector also notes some will say Roy could be Therrien’s replacement if the Canadiens struggle this fall. Roy’s desire to have control over player personnel issues, however, could make him radioactive for Habs GM Bergevin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roy won the Jack Adams Trophy in 2014 as NHL coach of the year for guiding the Avalanche to their first playoff berth since 2010. But let’s be honest here, the real reason the Avs made the playoffs was largely due to goaltender Semyon Varlamov having a career season.

At the time Roy’s critics pointed out the Avs were among the league’s worst puck-possession clubs that season and gave up the sixth-most shots-against per game. Over the next two seasons, the Avs worsening puck-possession and shots-against numbers were significant reasons why they missed the playoffs. During most of Therrien’s current tenure, the Habs had their own issues in those categories. Hiring Roy probably won’t improve those stats.

Sure, it’s tempting to link Roy to the Canadiens if they struggle this coming season under Therrien, who’s come under a considerable amount of justified criticism for his handling of the roster. Given the dire dearth of real NHL news at this time of year, talk of replacing Therrien with Roy will help fill a few days.

However, if Therrien is replaced at some point, I doubt they’ll take on Roy. His outspoken style, big personality and desire for control beyond the bench would create a toxic relationship with Bergevin and Molson. By trading away Subban this summer, they made it very clear that they don’t like outsized personalities on their team. If a coaching change becomes necessary, I think they’ll pass on Roy.

The same applies if Molson decides to shake up the front office. Yes, Roy has years of management experience from his days running the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, and he had a hand in front-office decisions with the Avalanche. However, his brash, outspoken style would clash with Molson’s quiet methods of doing business. 


  1. Roy belongs in the Q where he can run the whole show and be a bad coach and get away with it. Having said that, I hope and pray that the Habs bring him on for a few years.

  2. ….maybe they traded Subban because they thought (mistakenly) they were getting the better end of the deal and it only had a little to do with his personality. This would fit right in with Roy’s views on analytics and his feeling towards D men like Barrie.

  3. I have to agree that in Colrado it started all about Roy and eneded that way. The players are going to publically state they are happy, relieved etc., just that they are sorry for him no ill words. The rumor is he was ruffled when the refused his request to sign radulov, and spend in different ways far below that $$$,
    You cannot ask for more power when you haven’t won anything and had one oou of three seasons of winning records taht qualify you for the playoffs.

  4. If Roy ever does wind up running the bench in Montreal you can bet it will boost TV ratings. His unpredictable behavior will guarantee that.

    • Absolutely, it would make for great interest off the ice, too – guaranteed gold mine for the press so they’ll be pushing it hard.

  5. Fans would love it . Nice honeymoon period then look out. If they don’t win, hab fans will start to demand his head.
    Also after his messy exit is Roy welcome back ?
    Go to the Q. Reboot. Not going to get very far with the current approach.

  6. If I don’t get my way I’m taking my ball and going home. He was a diva as a player and a diva as a coach. Why would anybody want him as part of their organization?

  7. Oh man, please let the habs hire Roy.

    • With you on that, fingers crossed.

  8. Roy is all about Roy. Always has been, both as a player and coach. It’s always been about himself. I think he believes he’s the next Scotty Bowman…..good luck with that. I never respected him as a player or a coach.

    • I don’t necessarily disagree with you; however, there’s no denying his success as a player which translates into team success! I am sure the 4 Stanley Cup teams he was a part of consist of players glad to have played with him!

  9. I don’t care if this is a hockey website, but the performance of Penny Oleksiak is amazing in and out of the pool. Her class should make all Canadians-make that all sports fans proud!

    • I raise my glass to this

    • Fun fact, her brother plays for the Dallas Stars.

      • yes indeed-Jaimie is now the 2nd most famous athlete in the family

      • Darnell Nurse’s sister is also competing. Some good bloodlines

  10. Bergevin may have given a perfunctory nod of allegiance to Therrien but, as we’ve recently witnessed with the (“we’re NOT shopping PK”) Subban trade, he’ll reserve the right to change his mind/reprioritize, on the fly.

    If a “little birdie” in the Habs’ organization whispered about an implicit short leash on Therrien’s tenure – and an almost inevitable/self-fulfilling pink-slip – Roy may have *just* implicitly set that mechanism in motion with yesterday’s resignation.

    Back-channels may well have reached out to Roy in an attempt by Bergevin to quiet his critics in the Montreal media (and an increasingly dissatisfied and strident Canadiens’ fanbase) by giving them exactly what they want (and perhaps deserve) regardless of how counterintuitive it may appear to a knowledgeable external observer – St Patrick come full-circle, and a renewed honeymoon period for Bergevin’s increasingly embattled stewardship.

    What with the blockbuster trade and off-season acquisitions (and a hypothetical/anticipated coaching change all but consummated) – all these moving pieces and plates spinning on sticks – Both Molson and Bergevin may yet buy themselves three or four years of goodwill and relative tranquility with what appears as so much “deck chair” shuffling.

    Such a move would surely lower the heat; putting the spotlight – and crosshairs – squarely on Roy.

    …And, DAMN, it would make for some engrossing entertainment; were it to occur.

    • You are a very good writer!

      • Second that! I’m swedish so I’m not used to all that perfection reading english written forums and blogs, however I do believe I understood all! ?

  11. He obviously needs to have control. He could of simply resigned the director post and stayed on as coach if he actually wanted to coach.

    I never coached but I understand it to be taking the team and players you have and doing the best you can to make it and then better. Roy seems to want to add to his team players he perceives as better and remove those who aren’t. That isn’t coaching.

    • Jeff, I have and you pretty much have it down. But, if you have players that are under performing you have 3 choices. 1 – Teach, remaining positive.
      if that doesn’t work, use negative by reducing ice time and reducing their responsibility. Still doesn’t work? Cut them or in the NHL trade them.
      Who knows what was going on with a guy like Barrie who he calls a 5th defenceman in public because all he brought was offence. Perhaps # 1 didn’t work and he was too impatient? Time will tell if he was right about him or not. Coaches have a huge say in the organization when it comes to player evaluation, but sounds like he wanted the final say.

  12. As far as Colorado is concerned, I doubt bringing Hartley back is the answer to their problem of lack of cohesion. He, too, has a notoriously short shelf-life. Dineen might be a good choice, but if they want some immediate results in tightening up their style of play they could do far worse than Jacques Martin. Yes, his style also tends t wear thin – but only after a couple/three seasons, and it would at least be a period of minimal controversy.

    • It took Hartley one season to get the Calgary Flames players to hate him.

  13. The Canadiens are an institution, not a business. Any ideas of Roy being hired to generate interest or media hype should not be considered.

    • I could have worded that better.. they are more than a business. Yeah, they want a francophone coach, but not a sideshow to generate media buzz.

      • No one is suggesting that as a reason to hire him. But as I said elsewhere, it would automatically boost media/TV interest simply because – like those fans who only attend car races hoping to see a spectacular crash – they’d be glues to the games hoping to see Roy explode into one of this patented temper tantrums.

  14. Another chip Kelly type. Narcissistic dope.

  15. Perhaps his time in Columbus right before Tortorella was brought in doesn’t inspire confidence, but I’ve heard/read/whatever that Todd Richards is respected as an intelligent hockey mind .. he might be a dark horse just because he doesn’t seem to be considered publicly.

  16. I am hearing Roy left cause he wanted to take a year off before he potentially takes on the reins of a potential expansion team in Quebec.

    • Having said that if Roy were to end up in Montreal he could end up as the new coach and gm.

  17. He walked out on the Habs. Instead of trying to resolve issues he had with Tremblay and the organization he chose to make his own bed. Keep him out.

    • I completely agree. I don’t see the hiring of Roy as an improvement at all. I would consider Dineen out of Chicago.

  18. Geoff Molson’s requiring that any new coach be French-speaking drastically limits the pool of available coaches. If we exclude Roy, I wonder what choices there might be.

    • It doesn’t really matter. Montreal wasn’t the team that just lost a coach

  19. Apparently Roy wants a year off while the Avs are still paying him. In a year, Montreal’s farm team moves to Laval (read Montreal). I’m guessing there is better chance Bergevin and Molson would be happy to have Roy filling that role as another draw to the Baby Habs. that also gives Roy work while Quebec city get sorted for an NHL team, as he has to be top of the coaching list for their first coach.
    On a side note, I think the need for a French speaking coach has a lot to do with the players. All the guys that were and are seen as potential captains are all non-French speaking. No way you could ever have a non-French speaking captain AND a non-French speaking coach. This is Quebec and the hometown money is overwhelmingly French in origin. The hometown media is French. You need someone to speak for the team who is not the GM. As they say, it is easier to fire the coach than the team. Similarly it is easier to find a French-speaking coach than a French speaking captain that wants that pressure in Montreal.

    • They want a French coach for media relations and French speaking fan accessibility. It is that simple, completely logical from my view point.

      • My point exactly.

  20. If you belive Stu then there is a problem

  21. Imagine this: Roy on the bench for Montreal versus Tortorella on the bench for Boston! Imagine the fireworks! And no I am not saying I heard anywhere that Torts was going to Boston. I am simply having a little fun!

  22. I hate Therrien (I’m a Pens fan, thats no surprise) and think Roy would be a complete upgrade. But what frustrates me is this illusion by the Molson’s that the coach should be able to speak french. I mean I get why it is an asset in Montreal, but the bottom line is that they are either running the team to appease reporters or they are running the team to win hockey games. Cutting the talent pool down to french speaking preferred candidates is pure stupidity.

    • That’s precisely why an NHL franchise in Quebec City would be a mistake. There they simply CAN’T leave language/politics out of anything.

      • Better Quebec than another financial winner in the desert.

    • By asking your employee to have a skill set that would better market your team to the market it is leased in. It’s original core. You are not diluting the talent pool but serving those fans who have stuck by you for the 100 years the team existed.

      Montreal is a Francophone team playing in a Francophone province. It’s exactly what they should do.

      The thing that irks me with the organisation is they don’t give an English speaking guy time to learn the French language.

      • with the exception of PK Subban when have you heard an Anglo player come to Montreal and actually trot out some french that they were supposedly learning?I know Max made a passing attempt but really? I know learning a second language and going on media is tough and I do not hold it against the players but I do see the media’s point. Funny thing is the true Hab’s fans would be tickled pink and support any player who made an attempt, no matter how pitiful it was.

  23. Okay, this is way off topic today, but……

    Did anyone have a chance to see Haydn Fleury play this past year. I’m curious to know if he is NHL ready. I’ve been pondering a Trouba for Fleury trade. It gives the Hurricanes a player who is a few years further along in development (fewer questions about potential) and it gives the Jets a player they won’t have to protect in expansion draft. It also provides better left shot/right shot balance for both teams. Thoughts?

    • Yes, but only once.
      Very good player but not spectacular. Good skater, good size, good defensively not much offence generated from the game I saw. Kinda of the really good defensman you never notice because he doesn’t make mistakes.
      Less upside than Trouba, would likely have to throw in something else to get him.
      You gotta luv Hanifin in Carolina! Looked awesome from what I saw of the worlds. Kid is a fantastic skater. Building a strong D core there.

      • Thanks for the insight. I agree, the future is very bright for the D in Carolina. If they keep most of those guys: Faulk, Hanifin, Slavin, Pesce, Fleury, Murphy as a depth guy…..scary.

  24. If Therrien is fired, doesn’t Bergevin join him? Perhaps Roy is a candidate for a more senior position in the organization!

  25. Therrien may have run his course in Montreal, all coaches come with an expiry date. However the problem in Canadiens land lies in the GMs office I think. Bergevin is the one that stood still and did nothing last season as the Habs fell apart. He is also the one that just got done trading a better, faster, younger player with a better contract just to win an “Im the Man” showdown that existed in his mind only. I would think Therrien deserves at least until Christmas to show he still has the teams attention and have them playing well (assuming they are healthy). Its not Therriens fault the teams best players are Patches, Gallagher and the Turtleneck, its Bergevins. Hiring Roy would be a mistake in my opinion, but mistakes seem to be becoming the norm in Montreal so its hard to say what will happen.

  26. Iron Mike Keenan


    • That’s funny!

  28. I think Patrick Roy the player did more to change the game than even Wayne Gretzky.

    Patrick Roy the person is not at all impressive.

  29. I want to say Thank You to Lyle for providing this site, it is very entertaining (not just for the 55+ armchair old farts who have never played competitively but live in “Fantasy Sports” leagues…

    • My pleasure!