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Avalanche coach Roy lauds Babcock contract, receives tribute at Memorial Cup

05/26/2015 06:54 EDT | Updated 05/26/2016 05:59 EDT
QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Count Patrick Roy among the NHL coaches who applaud Mike Babcock's big contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Colorado Avalanche coach said Monday that the eight-year deal at $6.25 million per season Babcock signed last week was overdue and will eventually benefit all members of the profession. He also joked that he might look at asking for an extension when his own contract expires.

"I think Mike is probably one of the best coaches in our game," Roy said before he was honoured in a pre-game ceremony at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. "He's been in the league a long time and he earned that right.

"I think it'll be good. If you look at all the sports, I think hockey was a little behind, looking at coaches being paid. And not just the coaches, the assistant coaches as well. I think our game needs to look at this and I hope that what happened with Mike will help other coaches and assistant coaches one day."

Babcock elected to leave the Detroit Red Wings to sign the biggest deal ever for an NHL head coach with the Leafs.

The Memorial Cup is the last major hockey event to be held at the 66-year-old Pepsi Colisee before the new 18,482-seat Videotron Centre next door opens in September.

Roy, a Quebec City native who watched and played games as a youngster at the Colisee, was honoured for a career that included two years as general manager and another eight as part owner, coach and GM of the junior Quebec Remparts.

He left in 2013 to become coach and vice president of hockey operations in Colorado.

A banner was to be raised to the rafters in his honour and he was to be presented with a painting of himself and Quebec City hockey legends Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur with the Colisee in the background.

The 49-year-old won four Stanley Cups as a goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens and the Avalanche.

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