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The New York Rangers, a team with high expectations, lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. After just two seasons, they somewhat surprisingly let go head coach Gerard Gallant. Are they planning to replace him with Patrick Roy?
Gallant had a fairly successful tenure in New York. In his first season, he led the team to the Eastern Conference final. In his second season, the team earned 107 points in the regular season. But the loss to the New Jersey Devils — after the Rangers took a 2-0 series lead — ultimately ended his tenure.
Now, as the team searches for a new head coach, a popular name keeps popping up: Patrick Roy.
Roy is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who coached one of his former NHL teams — the Colorado Avalanche — for three seasons. However, the team failed to win a single playoff series during his tenure from 2013-2016.
Prior to coaching the Avalanche, he led the QMJHL Quebec Remparts to a Memorial Cup victory in 2006. But, he failed to win a QMJHL title in eight seasons during his first tenure.
Following his dismissal from the Avalanche, Roy returned to the Remparts. This season — his fifth in his current tenure — the Remparts captured the Gilles-Courteau Trophy, awarded to the QMJHL champion.
They followed that up with a Memorial Cup victory, Roy’s second. After the game, he gave a very good answer when asked what he planned to do with the Cup.
So, Roy has two Memorial Cup trophies and one QMJHL title in 13 seasons across two tenures with the Quebec Remparts. He won 0 playoff series in the three seasons in the NHL.
But the rumors are swirling that the New York Rangers are targeting Roy. The Rangers’ general manager, Chris Drury, won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche alongside Roy in 2001. That was Drury’s only Stanley Cup as a player, and the last of Roy’s four.
It remains to be seen what the Rangers ultimately decide to do. But they were waiting for Roy to finish his Memorial Cup run before sitting down with him.
That’s leading many to speculate that he’s their guy. They’ve interviewed several candidates, but conventional wisdom says that if they loved one them, they’d have hired them already.
The Rangers need to nail this hire. They’re still built to make a deep run, but their core is getting older.
Chris Drury’s job probably banks on finding the right guy.
Is the right guy his former teammate?
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak