Colorado Avalanche name new GM, promote Joe Sakic to team president
The Colorado Avalanche dished out a couple of front office promotions on Monday morning, 15 days after winning the Stanley Cup.
Joe Sakic is now the team’s president of hockey operations and assistant general manager Chris MacFarland is now the Avalanche’s general manager.
While the decision makers don’t change, this move allows the Avalanche to keep MacFarland with a fancy new title and likely a pay raise. Other teams may have wanted to come in and steal him to start running their hockey operations. Now, that won’t happen. Sakic will continue to ultimately call the shots, but moves up even higher in the Avalanche’s organization.
A similar move happened with the Nuggets back in 2017 when they promoted Tim Connelly to president of basketball operations and named Arturas Karnisovas GM. Both are no longer with the team, but the structure is one KSE has used before.
MacFarland, 52, just completed his seventh season as the Avalanche’s Assistant GM. Hired on May 21, 2015, MacFarland has worked closely with Sakic regarding all hockey-related matters during his time in Colorado and was a pivotal part of the turnaround from finishing last in the league in 2016-17 to capturing the Presidents’ Trophy in 2020-21 and winning the Stanley Cup in 2022.
Sakic was the 2021-22 recipient of the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, the first executive in club history to receive the honor. Under Sakic’s direction, the Avalanche had their most successful regular season in franchise history (56-19-7, 119 points) and continued that into the postseason with a 16-4 playoff mark en route to capturing the 2022 Stanley Cup.