It has now been one week since Patrick Roy shockingly resigned from his post as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. The search for his replacement has already begun in earnest.  Avalanche spokesman Jean Martineau announced on Thursday that the team is about to enter the preliminary stages of the interview process.

But who is the team bringing in to talk to? Who should they bring in?

Speculation has been running rampant recently as to potential candidates for the Avalanche job.  One thing we already know is that they aren’t planning to consider any internal candidates.  Also, it is worth mention that the Avs have historically had no issue with hiring coaches without previous experience at the NHL level (Marc Crawford, Bob Hartley, Tony Granato, Joe Sacco and Patrick Roy). So, keeping these things in mind, here is a list of candidates the Avalanche may consider talking to.

  1. Honorable mentions

* Scott Arniel (Associate coach, New York Rangers)

* Bob Boughner (Assistant coach, San Jose Sharks)

* Ralph Kruger (Head Coach, Team Europe)

* Bryan Trottier (Assistant coach, Buffalo Sabres)

  1. Bob Hartley

Current position: None

The Avalanche’s all-time winningest coach, Hartley’s name was probably the one most mentioned immediately after Roy stepped down.  As I mentioned here, I feel his system and coaching style are the wrong fit for the Avs.  That being said, Sakic won a Stanley Cup with Hartley at the helm in 2001.  Hartley’s history with the team (and its current GM) might be enough to merit a call.

  1. Marc Crawford

Current position: Associate coach, Ottawa Senators

If the Avalanche were to bring in a former coach, Crawford is the guy I would choose.  As a rookie NHL coach (with the Quebec Nordiques), he won the Jack Adams Award as the coach of the year. The following season, he would guide the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup. His teams won their division in each of his five seasons with the franchise. His hiring might leave a bad taste in the mouth of fans after the Bertuzzi/Moore incident, but winning cures everything. Crawford was always good at nurturing young talent. The current Avalanche squad’s composition reminds me a lot of the 1994-1995 Nordiques. If Crawford could have the same impact on this group as he did on that one, the Avalanche could return to perennial contender status very quickly.

  1. Brent Sutter

Current position: Head coach/general manager, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

A member of the infamous Sutter family, hockey is in Brent Sutter’s blood.  He has six years of experience as an NHL coach, and none of his teams have ever finished with less than 90 points.  He can be a tad abrasive, and holds his players very accountable.  Systematically, he preaches puck possession and responsibility in the defensive end, the two areas the Avalanche need to work on the most.

  1. Travis Green

Current position: Head coach, Utica Comets (AHL)

Though he ultimately failed to land a job, the 45-year-old Green was a hot name in the NHL head coaching rumor mill this summer.  Though he only has three years of full-time head coaching experience (all at the AHL level), he has shown an ability to steady his ship through choppy waters, whether it be from NHL call-ups or injuries, and find a way to keep his teams competitive.  He has shown patience with his players, but also asks them to play a complete game.

  1. Dale Hunter

Current position: Head coach, London Knights (OHL)

Interestingly enough, the pick that the Nordiques acquired when they traded Hunter to the Washington Capitals was used to select Sakic.  Hunter also finished his career as a teammate of Sakic’s after the Avalanche acquired him at the trade deadline in 1999.  He was as tough as they come as a player, carrying that over as a coach for both the Knights and the Washington Capitals.  His defense-first mentality might not be what the Avalanche have grown accustomed to, and Sakic might not want to deal with such a big personality, but it is worth mentioning that none of the teams he has coached, at any level, have ever missed the playoffs.

  1. Kevin Dineen

Current position: Assistant coach, Chicago Blackhawks

A member of Joel Quenneville’s staff, Dineen captured a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2014-2015.  A top assistant, he has gotten mixed results as a head coach.  In his first season behind an NHL bench, he guided the Florida Panthers back to the playoffs in 2011-2012, only to miss the playoffs the next season and see himself fired after 16 games in 2013-2014.  He coached the Canadian women’s team to a gold medal at the 2014 Olympics, only to see the U-18 men’s team finish a disappointing bronze at the World U18 Championships the following winter. He likes his teams to be hard to play against, placing a lot of focus on the forecheck.

  1. Jacques Martin

Current position: Assistant coach, Pittsburgh Penguins

Martin was an assistant on the original Avalanche team, but left to take the head coaching gig with the Ottawa Senators a few months prior to Colorado capturing the Stanley Cup.  He got a ring as an assistant last season with the Penguins.  With over 1,200 games of NHL head coaching experience, Martin is the most seasoned coach on this list. He likes his teams to play a system that relies heavily on creating turnovers and focuses on the counter-attack.  The Avalanche have the speed to make it work, but maybe not the patience to wait for the right opportunity.

  1. Lane Lambert

Current position: Assistant coach, Washington Capitals

A former teammate of Sakic’s with the Quebec Nordiques, Lambert has been part of Barry Trotz’s staff with both the Capitals and Nashville Predators. He is considered an expert at the penalty kill, preaching defensive responsibility.  He has shown an ability to help develop forward’s two-way game and is known for his passion, and inspiring people to play with emotion. He does have head coaching experience at the AHL level.  Lambert just has the feel of an NHL assistant that is ready to take the next step.

  1. Paul MacLean

Current position: Assistant coach, Anaheim Ducks

MacLean won the Jack Adams Award in 2013, while behind the bench for the Ottawa Senators.  He was subsequently fired in the middle of the very next season.  MacLean is known as a very smart, strategic coach, who is very adept at communicating with his players.  In Ottawa, he was able to maximize the contributions of young players. An offensive coach, his system is somewhat complicated, but fun to watch. MacLean could go a long way to improve the AVs’ possession numbers, but he is not known for his defensive acumen.

  1. Jared Bednar

Current position: Head coach, Cleveland Monsters (AHL)

Fresh off guiding the (then) Lake Erie Monsters to its first Calder Cup championship, Bednar has suddenly seen his stock rise on the coaching market.  A proven winner at both the AHL and ECHL level, he is known for his ability to develop and maximize the efforts of young talent.  His teams employ a system predicated on speed, creating turnovers and a good forecheck; a system the Avalanche roster could be very well-suited to excel in.

  1. George Gwozdecky

Current position: Head coach, Valor Christian High School (HS-CO)

Though he recently said he hasn’t received a call from Sakic and doesn’t expect to, Gwozdecky makes a ton of sense for the Avalanche.  The only person to win a NCAA Championship as a player, assistant and head coach, Gwozdecky is all about developing players.  He also had success as an assistant for the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The system he likes to employ is uptempo, relying on a good counter-attack and sold defensive play.  It’s actually a lot like Patrick Roy’s, but with more defensive structure and commitment to positioning. Hiring someone like Gwozdecky could go a long way to soften the blow of Roy’s sudden departure, as he is also revered in Colorado from his time at DU.  Even if that wasn’t a factor, he still might be exactly the coach the Avalanche need.