There's no doubt that the Colorado Avalanche needed Patrick Roy to take over the team as head coach -- and when team president Pierre Lacroix decides to obtain someone's services, he usually succeeds. But not in this case. Shortly after the Denver Post reported that Lacroix had offered him the job, Roy denied it. And while Roy now concedes that such a pact was indeed floated his way, he tells the Post that he turned it down for family reasons: He wants to stay close to his three kids as they enter a key stage in their lives (they range in age from sixteen to twenty).
Betcha there's more to the story than that. It's certainly possible that family was a factor for Roy; just because most people who deploy this excuse are using it to cover up something else doesn't mean it's never true. And yet it's likely such obstacles could have been overcome if Roy thought the Avs were positioned for improvement. As a guy who likes to win, he probably wouldn't take the helm if he thought years of rebuilding were ahead of him. His comment to the Post that "the door is not closed, that's for sure," suggests that he'd be interested in revisiting Lacroix's invitation once the team is moving in the right direction.
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That's a gamble, since coaches tend to get axed when their squads suck, not when they're getting better. But Roy has always been a risk-taker, as anyone who watched him wander around behind the net during his playing days understands, and no doubt his phone will ring again down the line. Until then, Avs fans should be worried. The future may be even bleaker than we imagined.