Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Roy stuns, abruptly resigns from Avs

DENVER — In a surprising mid-August shakeup, Patrick Roy resigned as coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Avalanche on Thursday, citing disagreements with the organization.

Roy, 50, made the announcement through a public relations agency, two months before the start of the regular season.

"I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level," Roy said in a statement. "To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team's performance. These conditions are not currently met."

Roy had split control with executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic, a former teammate. Sakic said he was caught offguard when Roy told him of the decision Thursday.

"I know we were on the same page," Sakic said.

Roy, a Hall of Fame goaltender, spent the past three seasons as coach and VP of hockey operations for the team he led to two Stanley Cups as a player. Colorado made the playoffs in Roy's first year behind the bench and missed the past two.

"Though it saddens me, I have put much thought about this decision in recent weeks and have come to be fully comfortable with it," Roy said in the statement. He did not intend to comment further, the statement said.

Colorado went 130-92-24 under Roy, who won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2013-14.

In his playing days, Roy won four Cups, two with the Canadiens and two with the Avalanche; three Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender, and three Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP

His departure from the Avalanche is reminiscent of his exit from Montreal in 1995. After then-coach Mario Tremblay kept him in a game in which he allowed nine goals on 26 shots, Roy stormed off and told team president Ronald Corey, "It's my last game in Montreal."

Roy said he believed he was kept in the game to be humiliated. He was suspended and traded to the Avalanche.

LIGHTNING SIGNS Defense-MAN: The Lightning signed defenseman James Wisniewski to a pro tryout contract with an invitation to training camp. Wisniewski, 32, missed all but one game last season with the Hurricanes after tearing his left ACL on Oct. 8. Carolina bought out the final season of his six-year contract June 30. Wisniewski (5 feet 11, 203 pounds), who has torn his right ACL three times, has played in 53 NHL games over 11 seasons. He will compete for the seventh defenseman spot and provide depth at camp next month.

Reports: Vegas name near: The Las Vegas expansion team that starts play in 2017-18 has narrowed it name choice to Desert Hawks, Red Hawks and Nighthawks, the website sportslogos.net said. The names were registered as several domain names by Black Knight IP Holding Company LLC, the company owned by team owner Bill Foley, within the past few weeks, the site said. Foley said in an interview the team was closing in on a name and was due to speak with the NHL and Adidas, which will be taking over as the NHL's jersey supplier, this week.

Times staff writer Roger Mooney contributed to this report.

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