Montreal Canadiens: 3 Reasons Patrick Roy Should Coach the Team
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With the lowest point total in the Eastern Conference, the next NHL season can't come fast enough for the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens fired head coach Jacques Martin earlier this season on Dec. 17, and on March 29, Montreal canned general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Rumors have swirled since Martin's firing that Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy could return to Montreal to coach the most successful franchise in NHL history. Now that Gauthier has lost his job, more rumors are flying that have Roy linked to the team's GM opening.
Roy won two Stanley Cups with Montreal in 1986 and 1993. The Quebec City, Canada, native returned to his hometown after retiring and has been a successful coach for the Quebec Remparts since then. Roy has a 307-138-32 coaching record in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Two seasons ago, the Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Today, they are in the basement of the Eastern Conference standings.
If Roy returned to coach in Montreal, could he lead the Canadiens back to NHL glory?
Here are three reasons why Roy would be a good fit for the Habs.
3. Create Buzz for NHL
The Montreal Canadiens honored Roy by retiring his number 33 on Nov. 22, 2008.
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Clearly, the NHL is the least popular of the four major North American sports. The NHL would absolutely fall in love with the Roy-to-Montreal storyline.
As a player, Roy was a hero in Montreal. At the age of 20, he was the youngest player to ever win the Conn Smythe trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the 1986 postseason. He reeled off 11 straight wins in the 1993 playoffs to help win another Stanley Cup for the Canadiens.
However, Roy's final days as a Canadien ended in bitterness. In 1995, after an 11-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, Roy and head coach Mario Tremblay's relationship reached its breaking point, and Roy demanded a trade. Four days later, Montreal traded Roy to Colorado.
The publicity that Roy would create by returning to coach the Habs after such a difficult ending between the two parties would do wonders for the NHL. Gary Bettman and his staff might be keeping a close eye on how this coaching situation shapes up in Montreal.
2. Bring Fire to Canadiens Bench
Goaltender Patrick Roy in action in 1994.
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Montreal needs someone to light its fire, and Roy could be the one to bring the flame.
After reaching the playoffs for four straight seasons, the Canadiens have already been mathematically eliminated from the postseason picture this year.
For a team that has won 24 Stanley Cups, missing the playoffs is unacceptable in a sport where eight teams reach the postseason from each conference. The Canadiens are to hockey as the Yankees are to baseball—missing the postseason is the easiest way for a coach to lose his job.
Roy wasn't the friendliest of players. He had a natural killer instinct as a goaltender that made him one of the best netminders of all time. If Roy can use that same intense approach as an NHL coach, then he is sure to get 100 percent effort from his players.
1. Mentor Carey Price
Carey Price can improve dramatically if Patrick Roy was his head coach.
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Carey Price has had a rough season in goal, but Montreal is still confident that this 24-year-old Canada native could be a big piece of the team's future plans.
If the Canadiens can turn Price into an elite goaltender, then they automatically become a contender again in the stacked Northeast Division.
Roy knows what it is like being a young goaltender in one of the most crazy hockey cities in the world. He also knows what it takes to succeed in that environment.
What better way is there for Price to learn than under the tutelage of the Hall of Famer Roy?
Mentoring Price might be reason enough to hire Roy as the 38th coach in Canadiens history.
The Sports Network in Canada reported that Roy is willing to listen to the Canadiens if they want to discuss the head coaching vacancy. However, it is still unknown if Montreal will make an offer to the legendary goaltender.