Patrick Roy’s Departure
Patrick Roy resigned on August 11. That was six weeks before the start of training camp. It was also seven weeks after the draft, six weeks after Free Agency Frenzy and two months after the Nick Holden trade. It was two weeks after Tyson Barrie’s contract signing.
Some people cite the timing as Roy trying to get a last jab at the Avalanche. It’s not like that at all. Probably right up until the Tyson Barrie signing Roy still thought he could make things work with the team. Then he saw how much money was tied up in a relatively unproven, defense-poor defenseman. He saw how shallow the talent pool was. He saw how poor the supporting cast was that Sakic (because by them Sakic admitted he was making the decisions without Roy) had devised.
He also knew he’d have to be the one taking the heat literally every day as the team imploded (which it obviously did).
And he also may have felt a twinge that his longtime friend was forcing him out and may have to even fire him.
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I can sympathize with the position Patrick found himself in. I’m a business manager. For a while I had an immediate supervisor I loved. We had the same vision for our team — reward based on merit and excellence.
Then, my supervisor had to quit for personal reasons. My new supervisor had a different vision — merit based on loyalty with only lip service paid to excellence. We have a hard time keeping staff, so we have to keep our employees happy.
I was full steam ahead on the original vision, and suddenly I was getting documented for documenting poor performance and having to talk to HR. It was an intense time, and I wanted to quit.
Unfortunately, I’m not Patrick Roy. Because Patrick has one helluva safety net — a reported castle in Quebec, a summer home in Florida and who knows how much net worth. (He made a tidy profit when he sold the Remparts.) He also has a Hall of Fame name for himself.
I don’t have any of those things, so I’m having to wade through the mess of my job. Does that make me more noble? Hell, no — it just makes me more desperate.
Sometimes Colorado Avalanche fans act like little children who’ve been abandoned by their father. Patrick Roy quit on the team. He’s a quitter. He abandoned us.
Patrick Roy made a personal and professional decision. One of his closest friends had broken faith with him and seemed prepared to literally throw him to the wolves (well, media). He had his personal reputation as a winner at stake.
Concerning the timing, Roy said the following:
"“I took my time [deciding to resign] because I was close to my players and I really enjoyed them.”"
Patrick Roy was famous for being a players’ coach. To the end he had his players’ backs. (Don’t cite Matt Duchene at me — read this.)
And he wasn’t a fiery 30 years old anymore, a hot-tempered goalie who could march past an asshole coach (Mario Tremblay) to succinctly announce to the president that he was done with the team.
Rather, he needed to make a more sedate decision about his personal and family life. He knew it would be hard on the players for him to leave. He knew it would be hard on the team. But he’d been put between the proverbial rock and hard place.
And he had the means to exit.
I have a reputation for being a huge Patrick Roy fan. I have a Roy tattoo.
But that doesn’t change the facts. Joe Sakic took away contractual promises made to Patrick Roy. Roy took the time to make a decision that affected him personally and professionally. He left the team with one-and-a-half months to find a suitable head coach.
What happened after — the Colorado Avalanche’s disastrous 48-point season — is not Patrick Roy’s fault. We don’t need to be abandoned children. We can be adults who realize sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. Sometimes that means toeing the line, because I need my job, and sometimes that means leaving a job. That’s all Patrick Roy did.
Note to readers: Congratulations on completing the second in a five-part series.