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Joe Sakic takes over as Avalanche vice president of hockey operations

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Sakic had his number retired in Colorado. (USATSI)
Joe Sakic takes over the hockey operations in Colorado. (USATSI)

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The Colorado Avalanche announced some key changes to their front office on Friday afternoon by naming Josh Kroenke team president and Joe Sakic vice president of hockey operations.

Kroenke will be replacing former general manager Pierre Lacroix as team president. Lacroix, who was also the architect of Colorado's Stanley Cup winning teams in 1996 and 2001, will remain on with the organization as an advisor. Some of his more notable trades included the acquisitions of Hall of Famers Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque.

The announcement of Sakic's role was really nothing more than confirming what was already known as it had been reported over the past few days, that he could be taking on an increased role within the franchise. In Sakic's new role, he will be in charge of and have the final say on all hockey decisions, while current general manager Greg Sherman will remain on to handle the day-to-day operations of the team.

Sakic had been an excecutive advisor with the team over the past two seasons.

“Last week, Josh reached out to me about the possibility of a bigger role,” said Sakic. “After those discussions, I really believe that Stan and Josh are committed to this franchise and want us to get back to where we used to be and compete for the Stanley Cup. Because of their commitment, it's definitely the right time for me to take a more active role.”

Sakic spent his entire Hall of Fame playing career with the Avalanche franchise, going all the way back to its days in Quebec, when he was selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 1987 draft. He scored 625 goals, recorded 1,641 points and was a key part of both Stanley Cup winning teams.

While the Avalanche front office is still made up primarily of the same people who assembled a roster that has missed the playoffs three years in a row, Sherman will no longer be making the final hockey decisions (which could be a good thing for the Avs) while Kroenke takes over as president.

Sakic takes over control of a team that has some good young cornerstones already in place with Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, and they also own the No. 1 pick in the June draft after winning the draft lottery. It's expected they will select Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones with that pick.

The other key decision that they will have is who to hire to replace the recently fired Joe Sacco behind the bench. Roy's name is actually one that started to circulate around the rumor mill in recent weeks.

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