Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hanging Tony out to dry in Mile High

"I never received an offer ... but anyway, I'm not commenting."-- Patrick Roy adding to the mystery of employment matters with the Colorado Avalanche

The star attraction says that no offer has been made as of yet, but one has to wonder if in the end there is but no other result than watching Patrick Roy step behind the Avs bench when training camp opens this fall. That is of course, providing he doesn't get offered a job in Montreal, where the theatrical opportunities would be bountiful for fans and reporters alike.

The Denver Post got the job hunt speculation ball rolling on Sunday with a story citing anonymous soruces that stated that Roy had been offered the coaching position by Av's President Pierre Lacroix, who if the story proves true has seemingly forgotten that Tony Granato currently holds that particular job in the Mile High city.

The Avs have had a rather frustrating year this past season, out of the playoffs, dead last in the West and with the firing of their former General Manager Francois Giguere rather ruderless over the last month or so.

The move to bring Roy back to Colorado as a coach, would be unusual as it would preced a hiring of a General Manager, a process that usually is reversed in most places where success is a hoped for result.

If the Avs have indeed tendered an offer to Roy (despite his protestations) it would make for a rather interesting situation where any GM might not have as much control over the team as is considered normal for most NHL teams. Add on the burden of having to work with a coach who clearly has a special relationship with the President and, well, it won't be the template for stability one would think.

Lost in the mystery is the status of Mr. Granato, who has watched his boss get tossed over the side of the ship and probably is wondering if perhaps it's not time to reach out for a life jacket of his own. Though the comfort of a two year contract at least ensures that he will be compensated regardless of how this mess plays out.

The Avs have not handled this very well so far, just the speculation alone creates a climate of uncertainty and shows a less than steady hand on the franchise at the moment. Add on the churlish way in which they are treating their current coach (for whatever amount of time may be left on the meter) and it would seem that a once blue chip franchise is starting to look rather tattered these days.

Then again, perhaps the events of the weekend are more of a favour for Patrick, after all Pierre Lacroix was once his agent. Maybe this is just a bit of extra pressure on Montreal to either offer him their job, or make it clear he isn't wanted. We suspect that old habits die hard for agents, current or retired.

Globe and Mail--Roy denies Avs' offer

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