Roy having fun, now

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

MONCTON -- Patrick Roy insists he has not thought about being inducted, in all likelihood, into the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.

When it becomes clear how much the goaltending legend has thrown himself into his job as coach of the Quebec Remparts, it's easy to take Roy at his word.

Roy's passion for playing the game was evident throughout his stellar NHL career, which ended in 2003 after he won four Stanley Cups, a record 551 games and three Vezina Trophies. But in going behind the bench, he said he has discovered a deeper passion for the sport.

"I can't see myself doing anything else, to be honest with you," Roy said.

"It's a lot of work but it is easy and it is fun. I really love it. I want to do it until Istop enjoying myself."

A co-owner of the Remparts, Roy, also the club's general manager, hired himself as coach five games into the season after firing Eric Lavigne. But it was not a case of a former big-name player fuelled only by a large ego. Roy used the numerous contacts he gained as a player to inquire about such aspects as the intricacies of coaching, scouting, and how the ranking systems for the draft work. Two men he said he leaned on heavily were Atlanta Thrashers coach Bob Hartley -- with whom he would exchange hockey DVDs in the mail -- and Colorado Avalanche chief scout Jim Hammett.

"This is not a guy who is doing it because he has to be doing it," Hammett said. "We talked a lot on the phone and he asked questions about absolutely everything. He really wanted to learn as much as he could. He has the money and the accolades and he could have gone off into the sunset and put his feet up. I find it amazing Patrick has come back to the junior level to do what he is doing."

When Roy and his partners brought the Remparts back to Quebec City in 1997, he realized then he did not want to be a just a figurehead. He would call billets to thank them for housing his players, and would send goaltending tapes to the club. And since retiring from the NHL, he has not spent much time wondering whether it was the right thing to do.

"Not at all," Roy said when asked whether he misses his playing days. "A couple of times I wished I was back on the ice, but I think I really emptied the tank."

Despite earning millions to stop the puck, Roy does not have sympathy for goaltenders in the more free-flowing NHL. The offensive thrust in the game is akin to what Roy experienced when he broke in with the Montreal Canadiens in the mid-1980s, and he is glad offence is back in style.

"I think the game needs goals and people love it," Roy, 40, said.

"I guess you need to be a goalie to want to go on offence. The best defence is offence, and if you spend time in the offensive zone, it is hard to give up a goal."

The Remparts (1-1) rebounded from an opening loss last night, scoring five unanswered goals to beat the Vancouver Giants 6-3. If the Giants, the hosts of the 2007 Memorial Cup, lose to the Peterborough Petes tomorrow night, their tournament will be over. Vancouver is 0-2.


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