The Colorado Avalanche announced Friday that Joe Sakic has been named Executive Advisor/Alternate Governor of the Avalanche. He will begin his new position at the end of the 2010-11 regular season.
Sakic, 41, will serve as an executive adviser regarding all facets of hockey operations. He will also be involved in the business side and will represent the Avalanche at the Board of Governors Meetings as one of the team's Alternate Governors.
The move comes nearly two years after Sakic's final NHL game -- all of which were played with the Avs' franchise, for which he served as captain for 17 seasons, 16 of them consecutively.
"I feel that now is the time for this new challenge," Sakic said in a statement. "Two years after retiring from the game of hockey, and having had the opportunity to attend the Board of Governors Meeting, I feel excited about getting involved more with the organization. The fact that the Avalanche is giving me this opportunity shows how much they trust my background and hockey experience. I look forward to this new expanded role with the franchise."
"The fact that Joe Sakic has decided to come on board on all facets of hockey operations is exciting news for us and all of our fans," Avalanche Governor Josh Kroenke said.
Sakic announced his retirement on July 9, 2009, following a career that spanned 20 seasons and 1,378 games -- all with the Avs' organization in Quebec and Colorado. Sakic led the Avalanche to Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001. The Burnaby, B.C., native captured the franchise’s first Hart Trophy as League MVP in 2001, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1996, earned the Lester B. Pearson Award (NHLPA MVP) and Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) in 2001 and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
"Joe has been the face of our franchise for two decades," Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix said. "He led our organization to success with his contributions both on and off the ice. Right after his retirement we kept him involved, and now his presence and contributions to our team will be a huge asset going forward. Joe will not only serve as an advisor but will also be an invaluable resource."
Sakic is the eighth-highest scorer in NHL history with 1,641 career points. He sits 15th all-time in goals (625) and 11th in assists (1,016). Only four players ever recorded more points with a single franchise -- Gordie Howe (1,809) and Steve Yzerman (1,755) with Detroit, and Mario Lemieux with Pittsburgh (1,723) and Wayne Gretzky with Edmonton (1,669). Sakic ranks seventh all-time in playoff goals (84) and playoff points (188-tied), and holds the NHL record with eight overtime goals in Stanley Cup play.
"With his background and credibility in the sport of hockey and in our community, Joe will be an outstanding asset to our entire operation," said Avalanche General Manager and Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. "His presence and insight will be essential to our entire team both on and off the ice."
Selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the first round (No. 15) in the 1987 Entry Draft, Sakic is the franchise’s all-time leader in nearly every statistical category. With Sakic as captain, the Avalanche/Nordiques captured an NHL-record nine consecutive division championships from 1995 to 2003. In addition to its two Stanley Cup titles, the Avalanche also won two Presidents’ Trophies and made six appearances in the Western Conference Finals during that time span.