The Colorado Avalanche have missed the postseason for a second consecutive season, but they’re giving coach Joe Sacco a two-year contract extension, according to the Associated Press.
The Avs were alive and well in the playoff race for most of the season, but they lost six of their last seven games and slipped to a final record of 41-35-6, 11th in the Western Conference. That’s a marked improvement from last year, though, when they were the second-worst team in the NHL.
“Joe has earned the opportunity to lead this young team,” Avs general manager Greg Sherman said. “Our club made significant strides this season and we look forward to continuing that next season.”
With Sacco in the fold, the Avs must now look to build a roster for him to work with next season. First order of business will be captain Milan Hejduk, who is mulling retirement after 13 seasons. In addition, key players Peter Mueller, Erik Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie are all headed for free agency.