The Power of Patrick Roy

(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) Patrick Roy, usually standing between the pipes, takes in his first hockey game from the bench.

Patrick Roy, usually standing between the pipes, takes in his first hockey game from the bench. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

I may not know much historical information about the sport of hockey, but when I hear the name Patrick Roy, two things come to mind: a last name that’s sounds like the word “king” in French, and one of hockey’s greats adored by the Colorado Avalanche faithful.

Defined as an intense and passionate competitor, and despite being positioned in a restrained role in front of the net, Roy brought two Stanley Cup trophies to the city of Denver, and played a huge factor in the team’s glory years. No hockey player meant more to the Avalanche and their fans, as when his playing career concluded in 2003, Roy went down in the records book as perhaps the greatest goaltender of all-time.

And that’s why it was so ingenious for the Avalanche brass to bring Patrick Roy back to the franchise–as well as his fiery demeanor that was full on display in his coaching debut win on Wednesday.

Forget about the fit of temper and assault on the bench partitions that caused Roy a measly fine. For a franchise that first began as a Western Conference juggernaut, the Avalanche have struggled as of late in comparison, last reaching the playoffs in the 2009-10 season, and last winning a series in the 2007-08 season. The franchise was in need of revitalizing itself in order to have any chance of a return to its winning ways.

So what better way to do so than by re-infusing one of Colorado’s most revered hockey figures at the head coaching position? It has only taken one emphatic home game, but you can already sense that the Avalanche franchise and fanbase have something special, and something they can latch on to.

Other sports franchises–and not just in hockey–could learn a lesson from this situation. Sometimes, in order to recapture past success, you must revisit what worked so well before. And by changing its role, and not diminishing its effectiveness, the process of rejuvenation will readily come. Certainly, an impassioned leader–and franchise legend–like Patrick Roy fits this bill.

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