I bet it’s been about two or three weeks since I wrote at length about the Montreal Canadiens, who are by far my most favorite soap opera on Earth.
Today Sportsnet.ca columnist Jim Kelley, one of my all-time favorite hockey writers, speculates that the leaking of word that the Colorado Avalanche has offered Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy a chance to not only be their head coach but also take the title of general manager might actually be a ploy from Roy to get the head coaching job with his home-province Montreal Canadiens.
Kelley, who isn’t the only one holding to this theory, writes:
“Roy grew up in and around Montreal, started his NHL career there and it’s where he first built his reputation for excellence. He is a beloved figure by the populace, especially the French-speaking populace. As we all know, speaking French isn’t crucial when it comes to who coaches the team, but being French-Canadian and coaching the team is something that a community of fans lives, breathes and would die for.
“Let us also consider that when Roy picked a place to live in his post-NHL days, it was Quebec rather than Colorado. And when he decided to get behind a bench in hockey it wasn’t in the United States, but in his beloved Quebec with the Remparts.
“Doesn’t it stand to reason that he might see himself in some sort of role, perhaps even as a returning saviour with what amounts to his mother franchise, the one that nurtured him to greatness and the one that, by all accounts, is in need of a French-Canadian saviour in ways that we haven’t seen since perhaps the days of Rocket Richard?”
This is all just too rich, and let’s hope that Roy’s ploy — if that’s what this is — works out. With Roy behind the Montreal bench, the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry could hit a whole new stratosphere. Roy’s legendary career as a goaltender was marked by numerous emotional outbursts, and his temper has been in overdrive since his coaching career with the Quebec Remparts began. It seems that officials, opposing players and coaches haven’t been immune from Roy’s spitfire ways. That would make for great drama when the Habs play and the Bruins and otherwise.
If you thought the passive-aggressive battle between Claude Julien and Guy Carbonneau was good theater, something tells me Julien-Roy wouldn’t be so veiled. And something tells me Roy would really lose it watching Milan Lucic knock his players around. Don’t you just want to see what happens the first time Alex Kovalev (if he’s re-signed) doesn’t backcheck? And what would Roy have to say the first time Carey Price lets in a softy? After all, “St. Patrick” was flawless in the crease, right?
Ah, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Roy’s act doesn’t wind up going west and stays right here in the Eastern time zone, in the Eastern Conference, in the Northeast Division, where it belongs.