Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic Supports Patrick Roy


Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic comes out in support of Patrick Roy’s remaining head coach of the team for the upcoming year.

Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was unequivocal in his support of head coach Patrick Roy in a pre-game presser.

In his playing days Joe Sakic was known as “Quoteless Joe” because he could dance around a question without saying anything. Needless to say, as a professional hockey administrator, that hasn’t changed. However, that just means that when Sakic says something the words have power.

During the press conference, journalists asked several different ways what the future of Patrick Roy was concerning his job as head coach. Indeed, they started off the questioning with “Will Patrick Roy be back next season?” Sakic didn’t hesitate for a second, answering, “Yes, he will,” with a definitive nod and a slightly challenging smile. Indeed, he pretty much stared the reporter down.

When asked why Roy would be back, Sakic explained that the two of them were “in this thing together.”

That is certainly true. Not only is Joe Sakic the general manager of the Colorado Avalanche, he’s the executive vice president of hockey operations. In addition to being the head coach, Patrick Roy is the vice president of player personnel. The two control all aspects of running the team.

Now, naturally the Kroenke sports empire — commonly known as Kroenke Sports Entertainment — still own the team. Josh Kroenke is president and governor of the Colorado Avalanche. However, Kroenke seems content to let Sakic and Roy run the team. When asked if Josh Kroenke was on board with bringing Patrick Roy back, Sakic answered definitively, “It’s my decision to make.” That challenging smile was back, by the way.

Sakic elaborated on his thought process:

"“He’s got the passion. He’s a winner. He wants to win. Players know exactly what he wants. It’s one of those things — you don’t always look at the coach.”"

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Joe Sakic is supporting his teammate. I don’t mean his teammate from his playing days — I mean the team they’ve formed as effective governors of the team (even if Kroenke holds the actual title). It’s not surprising. Literally the first decision Sakic made as GM was to bring Roy on board — I suspect it was part of the initial conversation he had with Kroenke because the pair flew down to Florida to court Roy on a golf course.

Some more evidence in Sakic’s faith in Roy — a reporter asked about Patrick’s contract situation. Joe almost looked surprised by the question, that it even had come up. “He’s got two years,” he answered.

In fact, Patrick Roy has one year remaining with the option for extending one more year. I guess that extension is good to go.

Before you go accusing Sakic and Roy of croney-ism, know that they’re not deluded in what it takes to win. Sakic stated that he had some hard decisions coming up. He also admitted that he and Roy both needed to be better. He added:

"“I’ve had conversations with Patrick, and we know we have to try different things next year. But for me, it’s not the coaching staff.”"

Sakic and Roy are a team as much as they ever were in their Stanley Cup days. Their vision for the team is mutual. I’ve been able to glean some of the team structure through their interviews and actions. However, the next step is also clear — fomenting leadership and a winning attitude in the locker room.

Here is the presser:

Patrick Roy is legendary in his will to win. However, don’t forget — Joe Sakic was by his side for all of that winning in Avalanche uniform.

Next: Blaming Roy is Wrong

So, let’s put an end to blaming Patrick Roy. He probably made mistakes same as any other human on this planet. However, no one who knows his history can claim he won’t do anything to win — including putting pressure on himself to be better.

And Joe Sakic has his back. He wants the Colorado Avalanche to win. We all do, right?