The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has extended the contract of head coach Joe Sacco for two years through the 2013-14 season.
“Joe has earned the opportunity to lead this young team,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. “Our club made significant strides this season and we look forward to continuing that next season.”
“Our team competed hard and battled all year long,” said Sacco of the 2011-12 Avalanche. “This group had a lot of energy and they are eager to keep working hard and improving.”
The Avalanche has compiled a 114-109-23 record (.510%) in three seasons under Sacco’s guidance. He led what was the NHL’s youngest team to a 41-35-6 record (88 points) this past year, 20 more points than they had the previous season. That 20-point jump marked the NHL’s fourth-best improvement behind only Florida (+22), St. Louis (+22) and New Jersey (+21).
The Medford, Mass., native was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in his rookie season behind the bench in 2009-10. He guided Colorado to a 43-30-9 record (95 points) and a second-place finish in the Northwest Division that year. The Avs became the first Western Conference team to make the playoffs after finishing last in the conference the previous year since the league went to 30 teams in 2000-01.
The 2012-13 season will mark Sacco’s eighth year with the organization. Prior to leading the Avalanche, Joe spent two seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters. He also spent two years as an assistant in the AHL.
Sacco was a fourth-round pick (71st overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1987 Entry Draft. He appeared in 738 total games over his 13-year career in the NHL, which included stints with Toronto, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Washington and Philadelphia. The right winger finished with 94 goals and 119 assists for 213 points. He represented the United States at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, where the Americans finished fourth.