Avalanche fire coach Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco was fired by the Avalanche a day after the team wrapped up their lockou-shortened season....

Joe Sacco was fired by the Avalanche a day after the team wrapped up their lockou-shortened season. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/AFP/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:27 PM ET

Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco was given the heave-ho Sunday.

"The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward," said Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman. "Joe has worked for this franchise for eight seasons and he is a dedicated and hard-working coach. We appreciate all he has done and wish him the best in the future."

Sacco led the Avs to a 16-25-7 record this season for 39 points and second last in the NHL, ahead of the lowly Florida Panthers.

It was a long and hard fall for a coach who was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as the league's top bench boss during his first season with the Avs in 2009-10. After finishing last in the Western Conference with 69 points the previous season, Sacco came aboard to help the club to a 95-point season and a berth in the playoffs. It was one of the biggest turnarounds in league history.

Colorado's vice-president of hockey operations Eric Lacroix was also let go, the team confirmed to the Denver Post. Lacroix's father, Pierre, is the club's president.


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