In a stunning mid-August shake-up, Patrick Roy has stepped down as coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche, citing disagreements with the organization.
Roy made the announcement Thursday through a public relations agency, two months before the start of the NHL regular season.
“I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level,” Roy said in a statement. “To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team's performance. These conditions are not currently met.”
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Roy has split control with executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic, a former teammate. He said he has done his job with “energy, passion and determination.”
The team released a statement on Roy's resignation 90 minutes after his announcement.
“Patrick informed me of his decision today,” Sakic said in a statement. “We appreciate all he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately.”
The Hall of Fame goaltender spent the past three seasons as coach and VP of hockey operations for the team that he led to two Stanley Cups as a player. Colorado made the playoffs in Roy's first year behind the bench and missed the past two.
“Though it saddens me, I have put much thought about this decision in recent weeks and have come to be fully comfortable with it,” Roy said in the statement, released by Quebec-based PR firm National's Luc Ouellet.
The statement said Roy does not intend to comment further on his decision. Ouellet confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the statement is accurate.
Colorado went 130-92-24 under Roy, who won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2013-14. Before that he coached the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
In his playing days, Roy won four Cups, two with the Montreal Canadiens and then two with the Avalanche, three Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender and three Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP
His abrupt departure from the Avalanche is reminiscent of his exit from Montreal in 1995. After coach Mario Tremblay kept him in a game in which he allowed nine goals on 26 shots, Roy stormed off and told team President Ronald Corey, “It's my last game in Montreal.”
Roy said he believed he was kept in the game to be humiliated, was suspended and then traded to the Avalanche.