Former Avalanche captain Joe Sakic recently finished his fourth season as Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, his sixth year overall in the organization's front office. He was named to his current position on May 10, 2013.
Prior to assuming his present role, Sakic, 48, spent two years as the club's Executive Advisor/Alternate Governor, a position he was hired for on March 25, 2011.
In August of 2016, Sakic spearheaded an extensive coaching search that culminated with the hiring of Jared Bednar, who won the 2016 Calder Cup as head coach of the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters.
Under Sakic's leadership, the Avalanche has continued to lock up its core players, signing Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Semyon Varlamov all to long-term contracts.
The 2015 offseason saw the Avalanche acquire and sign Carl Soderberg, bring in six players via a trade with Buffalo, sign unrestricted free agents Francois Beauchemin and Blake Comeau, and select Mikko Rantanen with the 10th overall pick in the NHL Draft. Soderberg went on to set career highs in assists and points, Beauchemin led the NHL in blocked shots, Comeau set a career best in assists and Rantanen was named the American Hockey League's Co-Rookie of the Year.
In Sakic's first season of overseeing all hockey-related decisions, the Avalanche won the 2013-14 Central Division championship and tied a franchise record with 52 wins. Colorado took home three trophies at the 2014 NHL Awards, tying Boston for the most of any team.
Sakic announced his retirement from the game of hockey on July 9, 2009, following a career that spanned 20 seasons and 1,378 games with the same organization. He wore the 'C' as team captain for 16 consecutive seasons (17 seasons overall), making him the second-longest serving captain in NHL history. Sakic led the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup titles (1996, 2001), which included the city of Denver's first major professional sports championship in 1996. 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 on three occasions (2001, 2002 and 2004).
Sakic was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, his first year of eligibility. The only player who spent his entire career with the Avalanche organization to achieve that honor, Sakic was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 12, 2012.
Sakic retired as the eighth-highest scorer in NHL history with 1,641 career points. He ranked seventh all-time in both playoff goals (84) and playoff points (188-tied), and still holds the NHL record with eight postseason overtime goals.
Selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the first round (15th overall) of the 1987 Entry Draft, Sakic is the franchise's all-time leader in nearly every statistical category. With Sakic as team 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.
Sakic's No. 19 jersey was retired by the Avalanche during a pregame ceremony on Oct. 1, 2009.
Joe and his wife, Debbie, have three children: Mitchell and twins Chase and Kamryn. The Sakics are active with the Food Bank of the Rockies charity, and Joe hosts his own charity golf tournament to benefit the Food Bank every summer in Denver. Sakic was awarded the 2007 NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community.