Patrick Roy abruptly quits as Avalanche coach after 3 seasons

DENVER — Avalanche coach and vice president of hockey operations Patrick Roy said Thursday he is leaving the organization.

“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 vice president of 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, who helped the Avalanche win two Stanley Cup championships as a goalie, returned to the organization as coach in the 2013-14 season. The team went 52-22-8 and made the playoffs, but were bounced in the first round by the Minnesota Wild in seven games.

The past two seasons have been a struggle, with the Avalanche missing the playoffs and going a combined 78-80-16.

In April, Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic said Roy would return for a fourth season as coach.

“We’re in this thing together,” Sakic said in April.

Roy had two years remaining on his contract.

Roy was traded to the Avalanche in the 1995-96 season, its first season in Colorado, and helped it win the Stanley Cup, the first major professional sports championship in the state.

Five years later, the Avalanche won a second title. Roy retired after the 2002-03 season.

Roy’s full statement:

“For the past three years, I have carried out my duties as Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche with energy, passion and determination.

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. 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.

Today, I am informing you of my decision to leave the Colorado Avalanche organization. Though it saddens me, I have put much thought about this decision in recent weeks and have come to be fully comfortable with it.

I am grateful to the Colorado Avalanche organization, with which I remain in good terms, for letting me lead this great team. I thank all the players I have had the pleasure of coaching and the fans for their unwavering, unconditional support.

I remain forever loyal to the Avalanche with which I played 478 games, coached another 253, and won two Stanley Cups.”