The New York Islanders have a hockey legend in the front office and, after hiring Patrick Roy as their new head coach, another legend behind the bench. The hiring of Roy, revered as one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history and a four-time Stanley Cup champion, brings national attention to the Islanders for the rest of this season and beyond. It also might be just a great hockey hire.
Paul Bissonnette, a favorite punching bag and pundit of Islanders fans, reacted favorably to the hire on social media, posting on X, "Oh my god he's [Roy] back with vengeance. Noooo. Not Patty. That's the one guy I didn't want to see. The Islanders might win the cup. This is a scary hire."
There's no doubt there's a bit or perhaps a lot of hyperbole behind Biz's comments, but that doesn't mean he's completely wrong. We've seen the immediate impact coaching changes can have on teams. There's almost always an increase in effort, play, and results after a move that puts the entire organization on notice.
There are 35 games left in the regular season, and the slumping Islanders (19-15-11) are two points out of the playoff spot. They were quickly spiraling down the standings and in danger of the fanbase becoming indifferent toward the team for the rest of the season without a change being made.
Roy's had success at the NHL level, winning the Jack Adams award in 2013-14 after a 112 point season with the Colorado Avalanche. Most recently, he's been the head coach of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, where he had a tremendous amount of success. Scott Wheeler, who follows juniors and prospects for The Athletic, stated on X that Roy's team was "the most structured and well-coached junior team I’ve ever watched."
It's playoff hockey here on out for Roy and the Islanders. They have a ton of work to do to make a trip to the postseason a reality and an unlikely Stanley Cup run a possibility, but days like this are the time when you're allowed to dream of making Bissonnette's worst nightmare a reality.