Avalanche promotes Joe Sakic to President of Hockey Operations

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Stanley Cup Winner Colorado Avalanche Promoted Joe Sakic to President of Hockey Operations.

Sakic was the architect of the team that won its first title since 2001. A Hall of Famer-turned-front-office leader was recently named General Manager of the Year.

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Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic raises the Stanley Cup during a rally outside the City/County Building honoring NHL hockey champions after a parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic raises the Stanley Cup during a rally outside the City/County Building honoring NHL hockey champions after a parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Thursday, June 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The team also announced on Monday that assistant general manager Chris McFarland will now serve as general manager.

Colorado ended their most successful regular season by dethroning the two-time defending champion. Tampa Bay Lightning in the final. The Avalanche ended the streak in six games and finished the postseason 16-4.

It was another title for Sakic, who captained the Avalanche when they lifted the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. He became the first in NHL history to win as captain and general manager in the same organization.

However, in Saki’s manner, he evaded the praise.

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Colorado Avalanche's Joe Sakic speaks on stage after being awarded the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award during the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Center on July 7, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Colorado Avalanche’s Joe Sakic speaks on stage after being awarded the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award during the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Center on July 7, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“This is a team award. We have a great staff: Chris McFarland is doing a great job with this,” Sakic said at the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal last week. “We do everything together. These are our scouts, each of them are professionals, amateurs. But this is a team, players. They were so dedicated this year and the coaching staff. For me, this is not an individual award. This is an organizational award.”

Colorado finished with 72 playoff and regular season wins. This is a repeat of the league record set in the 1976-77 season. Montreal Canadiens and tied with the 1983–84 Edmonton Oilers and the 1995–96 Detroit Red Wings.

Sakic retired from Avalanche as a player in July 2009. He was hired by the team as Executive Advisor/Deputy Governor in March 2011. This was his ninth season as the team’s executive vice president/general manager.

The team kicked off the off-season by re-signing veteran forward Andrew Cogliano to a one-year deal. Colorado also acquired goaltender Alexander Georgiev from New York Rangers in a move that likely marks the end of Darcy Kemper’s time in Denver.

Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic (front right) speaks as the Stanley Cup stands in a nearby grandstand during a rally outside the City/County Building for NHL champion hockey players following a parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic (front right) speaks as the Stanley Cup stands in a nearby grandstand during a rally outside the City/County Building for NHL champion hockey players following a parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Thursday, June 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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The Avalanche have quite a few free agents, including forwards Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Valery Nichushkin. There are also quarterbacks like Josh Manson and Jack Johnson.

They have a strong core with Nathan McKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen and Captain Gabriel Landeskog.