Former Avs star Patrick Roy has been offered Granato's job and is mulling over the offer, according to multiple NHL sources who are close to Roy. The Hall of Fame goalie could not be reached for comment Sunday night, and the Avs had no comment about the possibility of Roy replacing Granato. Granato has not yet been told he's out of a job.
Roy, the co-owner, general manager and coach of major-junior hockey's Quebec Remparts, has made no secret of his desire to move into NHL coaching at some point. He met 10 days ago with Avalanche officials to discuss the possibility of rejoining the organization.
Since that meeting, the Avs have not addressed, in public, Granato's standing with the organization or Roy's interest.
Roy came to Denver to talk business with longtime Avalanche executive Pierre Lacroix, his former agent. Lacroix fired general manager Francois Giguere on April 13 and announced at the time there would be a new front-office structure. No general manager has been hired to replace Giguere.
Granato has two years remaining on his contract, and it is unclear what role, if any, he might have going forward with the organization should he be replaced as coach for the second time.
Just because a team makes Roy an offer, one of his former coaches said, doesn't mean he will accept it.
"Patrick is a very deliberate guy who analyzes everything," said Jacques Demers, who coached Roy's Montreal Canadiens to the 1993 Stanley Cup. "He's not necessarily going to take the first job that might come along. He's going to want to go into a situation he thinks is on the right track and that he's going to feel comfortable with."
The Avs finished last in the Western Conference this season, and their 199 goals were the fewest in the NHL. In addition, the Avs have financial issues. Their two goal-tenders - Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft - are unsigned for next season, and the team likely will have only $10 million to $12 million to spend on filling out the roster. Currently, 14 regulars have contracts for next season at a payroll of nearly $44 million.
Former coach Scotty Bowman, a Hall of Famer, believes Roy is ready to be a coach in the NHL. So does Demers.
"He won a Memorial Cup (in 2006) and that's not an easy thing to do," Demers said. "He's really been learning about the craft in junior, and I think he'll be a heck of a coach at the next level too."
As for the GM job, Craig Billington, the Avs' vice president of hockey operations, is a leading candidate. Billington was Roy's backup as an Avs goalie at one time.
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