He started off nervously reading from a prepared text, saying all the right things about being the coach of the Avalanche, but making you wonder if he is ready for the job. Then came some real human interaction, and by the time the news conference was over, it felt more like a Tony Robbins seminar. Patrick Roy became more animated as Tuesday's introduction at the Pepsi Center wore on, making it impossible for even the most jaded of attendees not to be excited about the future of the Avalanche. By the end, Roy was the man everyone in Denver remembered, albeit a little grayer around the temples: passionate, funny at times and confident about how he'll do as the team's sixth head coach. Case in point: Roy was asked about the stereotype that great players don't make great coaches, or that he hadn't paid his dues getting to this level. It was clear he had practiced his answer as much as he did his famous "I can't hear what Jeremy (Roenick) says, because I got my two Stanley Cup rings plugged in my ears" comment in the 1996 playoffs against Chicago. "I checked one very interesting stat," Roy said, letting a beat or two pass before adding, "100 percent of the coaches now coaching in the NHL were rookies at one time in their career. "I think my No. 1 quality is I'm not afraid to put in the work. When you work hard and put in the time, nothing can go wrong." Roy, 47, has a four-year contract, with a mutual option year on a fifth, to coach the Avs and serve as a vice president of hockey operations. He plans to get to work right away, meeting with players and giving input on hiring at least one assistant coach, along with a goalie coach. "To all Avalanche fans, rest assured: I will bring the same passion to my new role with the team as I did when I was a player," Roy said. Roy was offered the Avs' coaching job in 2009 along with a front-office title, but he wanted to coach his youngest son, Frederick, on Roy's Quebec Remparts junior team. Plus, he said, he didn't feel he was quite ready to make the leap to an NHL job yet. "Now, I think it's the perfect time," Roy said. "I think I've evolved even more as a coach the last few years. I truly feel that the mistakes we make sometimes as coaches is we want to move too fast. I was afraid in 2009 that maybe I missed one of the best opportunities of my life. But here it is, 2013, and I have the same opportunity and I have the chance to work with great people." Another question Roy anticipated well: "How well will he work alongside Joe Sakic, who as executive vice president of hockey operations will have the final say on hockey personnel decisions?" "Joe is my boss," Roy said firmly. "To answer a direct question, I would have taken this job if it were only just as coach. Working with Joe every day, coming to this rink and working with him on the decisions on how this team is going to go, I could not have asked for anything better. I don't know how long this ride is going to be, but I can to tell you, my plan is to enjoy every minute, and I want to enjoy it with our fans."
New Avalanche coach Patrick Roy lets passion show at press conference
Denver Post | May 29