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May 24, 2013

Saint Patrick No More?

Patrick Roy is arguably the greatest goaltender of all time. He is arguably the greatest performer in Stanley Cup history ever. He is one of the top 20 players - maybe top 10 - to ever play the game of hockey.

So why is it so many people are hoping he will fail as the new coach of the Colorado Avalanche?

Maybe because it is the Avalanche's approach is so intriguing. Maybe it is because goaltenders rarely make for great bench bosses.

No, it's because Patrick Roy is as unpredictable as he is volatile. He's cocky and confident, and as such he is entertaining in a heel sort of way.

That and a lot of people just don't like him. Outside of Denver and the province of Quebec, anyway. I guess he beat everyone else so regularly, and did so with that evil wink.

It seems as if everyone is waiting for this whole show to blow up in the Avalanche's faces. Fans and media alike are salivating for the inevitable trainwreck. Time will tell if the predicted carnage materializes. It very well may not - the Avalanche do have a lot of nice young pieces in place. And Roy is a winner. If he surrounds himself with good tactical coaches while he fires everyone up, it could be a rousing success.

But make no mistake - this move is high risk/high reward. If it does all blow up, hopefully it does not in any way tarnish the legacy of Saint Patrick. It seems as though some people already remember him mostly as hot-head rather than as one of the greatest players in hockey history.

That is sort of what happened to the much more likeable Wayne Gretzky. He crashed and burned as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and has not returned to hockey since.

But people will be happy to forget about Gretzky's failings as a coach. It seems as though people are looking forward to a more villaionous Patrick Roy to fail.

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