Colorado Avalanche promote Joe Sakic to president of hockey operations, Chris MacFarland to GM

The Colorado Avalanche reorganize their front office after winning the Stanley Cup.

Executive vice president/general manager Joe Sakic has been named the team’s president of hockey operations, paving the way for assistant GM Chris MacFarland to take over from Colorado as the team’s fifth general manager.

MacFarland has just completed his seventh season as Assistant GM of the Avalanche.

Sakic took over as general manager in September 2014. The Hockey Hall of Famer and former Avalanche Star Center oversaw a remodel that saw Colorado hired defensive end Cale Makar and right wing Mikko Rantanen while making bold trades for players like center Nazem Kadri and defensive end Devon Toews. The Avalanche made the playoffs for four straight seasons before breaking through by winning the 2022 Stanley Cup championship against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sakic was named a recipient of the 2021-22 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award at the NHL Draft in Montreal last week.

“Joe is great. I think sometimes professional sports go through a few cycles. The hardest part is staying good all the time,” Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke said after winning the cup in Tampa, Fla. last month.

The move up keeps MacFarland at the Avalanche. The 52-year-old has been hounded by several teams trying to hire general managers in recent seasons, with the Avalanche refusing to give him permission to apply for jobs like opening in San Jose.

MacFarland was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team for 16 years. He supported Sakic in all hockey-related matters and was credited as a co-creator of the Avalanche team that lifted the trophy after joining Sakic’s team in May 2015.

MacFarland gets straight to work: Colorado only has 16 players under contract for next season, including eight forwards. Talks are also expected to intensify with superstar Nathan MacKinnon, who is a year away from full agency. Colorado Avalanche promote Joe Sakic to president of hockey operations, Chris MacFarland to GM

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