Mario Tremblay isn’t expecting a call from Patrick Roy about a possible assistant-coaching job with the Colorado Avalanche.
“I don’t think so,” Tremblay said with a big laugh on Friday, a day after Roy was named head coach and vice-president of hockey operations for the Avalanche. “I don’t think so.”
Tremblay, as Montreal hockey fans will recall, was head coach of the Canadiens on Dec. 2, 1995, when he left Roy in net for nine goals against before finally pulling him in an 11-1 blowout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Roy was jeered by the Forum fans at one point following a routine save and when the goaltender eventually left the ice, he blew past Tremblay and told team president Ronald Corey, sitting in his familiar seat behind the bench, that he had played his last game in Montreal.
The rest, as they say, is history and the Canadiens haven’t won a Stanley Cup since, while Roy went on to win two with Colorado after leading Montreal to Cups in 1986 and 1993.
Tremblay and Roy — who spent the last eight years as head coach and part-owner of the junior Quebec Remparts — have not spoken since the future Hall of Famer was traded by former general manager Réjean Houle to Colorado along with Mike Keane in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault.
“We haven’t had a chance to meet, but everything is okay on my side,” Tremblay said. “It’s been a long time and I wish him good luck.
“I’m happy for him,” Tremblay added. “After seven, eight years with the Quebec Remparts, this is the job that he wants to do and he went to Colorado because he was also named VP of hockey operations. So that’s a big challenge for him, but there’s no doubt that Patrick, with his character and his passion … I think he’s going to do a good job in Colorado.
“The other thing I want to say is that he’s going to have to be well surrounded because he cannot do that job by himself. Come on … it’s the NHL, it’s not a junior team now.”
One person who could possibly get a call from Roy is Guy Carbonneau, the last Canadiens captain to hoist the Stanley Cup and a former head coach in Montreal.
“I have no idea,” Carbonneau said Friday afternoon about a possible call from Roy. “I haven’t talked to him … it’s up to him. He’s got control of who he wants to have around him. He’s going to have his reasons like I had when I was a coach here. I knew what I wanted around me and that’s what I got. I don’t know what he wants.”
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)