Long-time Colorado Avalanche superstar Joe Sakic is returning to the team as the new Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. The Avalanche announced the decision on Friday in hopes of rebuilding after falling apart in the 2013 season.
Colorado fell to the bottom of the NHL’s Western Conference in 2013 and have now failed to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. During his time as a player for the Avalanche, Sakic led the team to the playoffs in 11 straight seasons from 1994 to 2006. The first being with the Quebec Nordiques before the team officially moved to Denver, Colorado.
Joe Sakic played his entire 20-year career for the organization before retiring after appearing in 15 games in 2008-09. In 1,378 career games, Sakic scored 625 goals and added 1,016 assists.
He was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in November of 2012. He earned the right to join the greats in the Hall as he was named an NHL All-Star 13-times and brought home two Stanley Cups.
He now returns to the game as an executive for the team he carried for all those years. Outside of naming Joe Sakic the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, the Avalanche also announced that Josh Kroenke is the new team President.
Former President Pierre Lacroix stepped down from the role and will now serve as an adviser to the team. After being appointed, Kroenke announced the addition of Joe Sakic to the front office.
“I am thrilled to announce that Joe Sakic has agreed to become Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Avalanche,” Kroenke said in a statement on Friday. “In that role, Joe will be in charge of all hockey-related decisions moving forward.”
Sakic has a difficult task ahead of him as he looks to make the Avalanche competitive again. Before bringing in the talent on the ice, he’ll first start by finding a new head coach.
The Avalanche fired coach Joe Sacco only days after the team lost 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild to end the season. Sakic and the rest of the Avalanche’s front office will now begin the process of interviewing for the new opening behind the bench in the coming weeks. As the offseason progresses, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Sakic bring in more talent as he’s always been considered one of the most respected men in professional hockey.
Did the Colorado Avalanche make the right decision in giving Joe Sakic control of hockey operations?
[Image via Håkan Dahlström]