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.
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Times staff writer Roger Mooney contributed to this report.