DENVER - Colorado Avalanche President & General Manager Pierre Lacroix announced on May 12 that he will remain as President of the Colorado Avalanche and will appoint a new General Manager to lead the day-to-day operations of the club.
"Prior to the work stoppage, we agreed that Pierre would lead the franchise through that phase of our business and transition into the new NHL," said Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke.
"I've been involved with this franchise since the summer of 2000 and have taken great pride and much personal enjoyment in working with Pierre. It's been great for me to see how much this franchise has achieved over the past decade and we anticipate wonderful things in the decade ahead. He is and will remain an outstanding executive and one of the main reasons why this franchise has achieved so much."
"As I've said before, Pierre will remain with us for the remainder of his working life."
In the ten seasons Pierre Lacroix was the President & General Manager of the Colorado Avalanche, his team finished first in the division eight times and second twice. The team won two Stanley Cup Championships in 1996 and 2001, reached the conference finals six times and appeared in 26 playoff rounds, tops among NHL clubs in that span.
The franchise became very popular in its inaugural season in Denver in 1995 en route to capturing the 1996 Stanley Cup, the city's first major sports championship. Since November of that season, the Avalanche has recorded a sell-out streak of 484 consecutive games, the longest active streak in all of major league sports. In addition, the club hosted the 2001 NHL All-Star Game.
"Prior to the work stoppage, I made a commitment to our owner Stan Kroenke," said Lacroix. "Before this last season started I knew this would be my last one as general manager. As the President of the hockey club, in respect to our great community and fans, I will appoint a new general manager in the short future who will have the necessary credentials to continue the winning tradition we have established here in Denver since 1995."
"I'm truly proud of what we have accomplished," said Lacroix. "This franchise has enjoyed tremendous support from the very first season here and together with our fans we have established Colorado as a premiere hockey market in the world. I'm looking forward to entering the next decade."
PIERRE LACROIX OPENING STATEMENT - MAY 12, 2006
First of all, I would like to mention a few things before I answer your questions.
As we wrap up our tenth anniversary season in Denver and as the President of the team, I want to express my gratitude towards our fans.
Coming off 15 months of inactivity, the support for our franchise has been nothing less than amazing, establishing Colorado once again among the top hockey markets in our industry.
As well, I was pleased to see a positive overall reaction by the media and our fans to the new game and the new NHL.
Looking over this past season, I would say that along with our inaugural year and the two Presidents' trophy seasons in 97 and 2001, this has been one of the most enjoyable and satisfying regular seasons since our arrival here in 1995. This team showed a lot of poise in a very competitive division and conference under very difficult circumstances.
Also, I want to reassure our fans that our immediate and long-term future look great. We already have on our team some very young, up-and-coming stars and a great group of veteran leaders.
In the coming seasons we have young unsigned draft choices in the system that will become Avalanche fan favorites.
In the coming months we will have the luxury of re-signing our star veterans as well as free agents because we will be in a strong position in respect to the salary cap. Our fans stood behind us this season and I want to make it clear they will have a very competitive and exciting team to support in the coming years.
Finally and most importantly ... Before the work stoppage began, Mr. Kroenke and I agreed that I would remain as general manager and lead the transition into the new NHL. It was decided before this season began this would be my last one as general manager. As President of the hockey club, I will be appointing a new general manager. I'd like to assure our fans that the candidate that will be hired to run the day-to-day operations will have the credentials necessary to continue our winning tradition. I want to make it very clear this decision was made with the full support of Mr. Kroenke, as he stated in October 2003 regarding my contract extension which allows me to complete my career with the Colorado Avalanche.
I'm very proud of what we have accomplished both on and off the ice during our first ten seasons. We as an organization have built an incredible partnership with this community and with our fans. It has truly been an honor and a privilege for me.
As I've always said, I'm surrounded by the best people in our business and I am looking forward to the upcoming decade.