NEWS

Patrick Roy ready to embark on challenge as Avalanche coach

05/28/2013 04:42 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT
Patrick Roy said Tuesday he was happy to be back in Colorado, a full decade after he retired as an NHL player with the Avalanche.

Roy, 47, was introduced as new head coach and vice president of hockey operations for Colorado, nearly a week after his hiring was announced.

He succeeds Joe Sacco as coach and is signed to a four-year contract.

Roy is reunited in Denver with former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Sakic, who is executive vice president of hockey operations.

"If there's an [NHL] organization I wanted to work for, it's this one," said Roy, pointing to the support from fans and the staff when he was starring on the ice for the team.

Colorado has missed the playoffs the last three seasons, and attendance has lagged in recent years. Roy has promised to ice an lineup that works hard every night and is connected to the fans.

"We might not win a Stanley Cup next year … but one thing I know, we're going to have a Stanley Cup attitude," he said. "And I think that's going to carry us a long way."

Colorado have several talented young forwards such as captain Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly. The team will also select first in what is considered one of the most talented drafts in years, with another pick in the No. 32 spot.

The Avalanche have questions with respect to toughness, as well as their blue-line and goaltending. Semyon Varlamov has one year left on his contract, but the netminder has been inconsistent after being acquired for high draft picks two years ago.

The Quebec City native was memorably traded from the Canadiens to the Avalanche in 1995, winning the final two of his four Stanley Cups with Colorado before retiring in 2003.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

Roy compiled a 349-159-38 regular season record over the past decade in major junior hockey as coach and general manager with the Quebec Remparts, who won the Memorial Cup in 2006.

Known as one of the most fiery and passionate players during his era, Roy admitted there might be some adjustments to be made in transtioning back to the pro game.

Roy was in the thick of Colorado's search for a coach and general manager in 2009 but wanted to stay in Quebec for his three children. Sons Jonathan and Frederick were still making their way through junior hockey at the time.

"It was important for me to give back to my family, my three children," he said.

He will have say in personnel decisions with the Avalanche, who have a team option on a fifth season in his contract.

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