Maybe the Montreal Canadiens should have hired Patrick Roy

P. K. Subban stripping puck from Eric Staal. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

P. K. Subban stripping puck from Eric Staal. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

2011-12 was a terrible season for the Montreal Canadiens. They finished last in the Eastern Conference, all the while, head coach Randy Cunneyworth was criticized because he doesn’t speak French. The Habs need for a French speaking bench boss greatly hinders their options. While Cunneyworth’s future with the club was becoming undoubtedly short lived, rumours circulated suggesting Patrick Roy was a candidate to step in and coach the Canadiens. They didn’t hire Roy, as you know. Instead, former Habs head coach Michel Therrien returned for his second tenure with Le Club de Hockey.

Pat Roy finally earned himself a position as an NHL head coach last offseason when he was hired by the Colorado Avalanche. On top of becoming coach, Roy was also appointed Vice President of Hockey Operations. And so far, he’s doing pretty darn great.

After 14 games played, the Roy led Avalanche are 12-2-0. Barring a major collapse, the Avs have basically already made the playoffs. Even if Colorado manage a 0.500 record the rest of the way they should qualify for the post season this year.

While Roy is off to a great start, Therrien is facing scrutiny for his recent handling of Canadiens superstar defenceman P. K. Subban. Strangely enough, it was after a 4-1 loss to Roy’s Avs that P. K. began to take heat from his coach. Last season’s Norris trophy winner made two costly errors in the defeat. His punishment – less ice-time. Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues, Subban had his minutes dropped to 4th highest on the Habs blueline.

Many reputable news sources have discussed Therrien vs Subban. Have a look at:

The Curious Case of P. K. Subban‘ by CTV News.

Jack Todd: Therrien partly to blame for Subban’s detractors‘ by the Montreal Gazette.

And,

Habs not helping Subban shake bad rep ahead of Winter Olympics‘ by the Globe and Mail.

Roy, conversely, has been great with young talents, even receiving praise from the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene who is well on the way to smashing career highs in goals and points.

Avs 1st overall selection in 2013, Nathan MacKinnon, had this to say about Roy:

“He’s a very good man as well. Treats everybody very well. Everybody wants to play for him, I think that’s huge…. We all love him here and he’s doing a great job.”

Matt Duchene, who is currently 10th in NHL scoring, raved about his new coach Pat Roy:

“It’s hard to describe. It’s just more of a winning feeling. We all feel like it’s within our control where before we didn’t really know what was going on sometimes, just in terms of stuff in the [dressing] room.”

Roy’s early success with Colorado is impressive. The Habs are doing well too. But they aren’t exactly dominating like the Avalanche.

Once a head coach and star player have issues, if that is the case in Montreal, then fans get worried. After all, it is thought by many in Habs Nation that the miscommunication between Canadiens’ coach Mario Tremblay (1995-97) and then goaltender Patrick Roy, led to number 33’s departure via trade back in 1995 (He could’ve pulled him earlier).

In the end, anyone can suggest the Habs should have hired Roy. The truth is, he may not have taken the job.