Francois Allaire calls it something of a "back to the future" moment of his career.
As the new goaltender coach of the Avalanche Allaire is on the same staff with the player Patrick Roy he coached for 12 years with the Montreal Canadiens. Allaire also is back to coaching another goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere whom he played a major role in developing into one of the NHL's best netminders.
But can Allaire work the same magic for Avs No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov as he did Roy and Giguere? That the 54-year-old goalie guru said is his biggest immediate challenge.
"I think Varly is looking for a fresh start" Allaire said. "I think he's open to trying something else. He didn't feel he was going in the right direction. He wants to flush everything out and start fresh."
If Varlamov needs encouragement that Allaire can make him a better goalie he need only look at the bench at his new coach or at Giguere. Despite never playing in the NHL Allaire is widely credited with improving Roy when he served as a coach with Montreal (1984-96) and Giguere when he coached at Anaheim (1997-2009).
When the Avs parted ways with former coach Kirk McLean and Roy was hired one of Roy's first calls was to Allaire. The goalie coach had been out of the league since 2012 after a three-year stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs ended badly with cross words back and forth between him and the team. Roy didn't hesitate to bring him back.