The following are the opening statements from Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix and Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere at the May 24, 2006 news conference to announce Giguere's hiring.
OPENING STATEMENT - PIERRE LACROIX
Good afternoon everyone...
Twelve days ago when I sat here to inform you of my decision to appoint a new Avalanche GM to run the day-to-day operations, I was very clear in assuring our fans that the candidate that would be hired would have the credentials necessary to continue our winning tradition.
This was a very complete process which included Kroenke Sports Executive and Ownership involvement. Together we developed a specific profile of the ideal candidate to take this franchise into the future. We analyzed prospective candidates against this profile to ensure that the individual who we would select would meet every criteria that this organization requires.
This man to my right represents the end result of that process. He has the best background and vision to lead this organization. He knows our operation and our staff very well and he shares this franchise's commitment to its fans.
He had a strong impact in the operations of this franchise for many years, winning two Stanley Cups, before moving on to a new challenge in Dallas where he spent the last five years.
Courted by some other organizations in the past, he declined opportunities to become a GM at a much younger age, citing he was not completely ready for such a challenge.
He has established a very solid reputation for himself in our business and I know he is definitely ready to lead our franchise into the coming seasons.
Today, May 24th 2006, 12 years to the day of my appointment as GM of this franchise, then Quebec Nordiques, I'm proud to welcome Francois Giguere as the new Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager.
OPENING STATEMENT - FRANCOIS GIGUERE
First and foremost, let me tell you how excited my family and I are to be back in Denver where we first came in May of 1995.
As well, I would like to thank the Dallas Stars organization, especially Doug Armstrong for the cooperation, friendship and support in this important decision for me and my family.
I'm looking forward to this challenge of continuing the winning tradition that the Avalanche has established here in this great hockey market.
Like Pierre mentioned, although I had opportunities to become a GM in this league a few years ago, the timing never felt right and being here now, I'm sure there was a reason for that. But as I look to start my 17th year in this business, I feel ready more than ever to step into this new role with the franchise I started with in 1990 back in Quebec.
I know how impressive the Avalanche first decade in Denver has been. The pursuit of excellence has always been the "motto" and the goal has always been the same: to be there every year competing for the Stanley Cup and I will continue to work with that goal in mind.
I'm rejoining what I believe is a very strong hockey staff and am looking forward to leading this franchise into the future.
In the coming weeks, I will have different meetings with our entire hockey staff. We will evaluate the past season and look forward to the coming season with one thing in mind: to give our fans an exciting product and put on the ice a group of athletes they will be proud to support.
I'm familiar with many faces around here with the Colorado Avalanche and Kroenke Sports Enterprises, both on the hockey side and outside of the hockey department and I'm eager to renew acquaintances and begin the task at hand.
Finally, I want to thank Pierre and Mr. Kroenke for the trust they've shown in my capabilities. Now, it's time to go to work.