Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic is Over-Reliant on MacFarland

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 4
colorado avalanche
Jun 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Colorado Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic arrives at the Westin Hotel for the NHL Board of Governors meeting. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

MacFarland and the Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche hired Chris MacFarland to be an assistant manager in May 2015.

According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, MacFarland already had ties to the Avalanche. He was well familiar with fellow assistant GM Craig Billington from their fellow AHL days. He also had a “strong relationship” with sometime defensive coordinator and Avs great Adam Foote.

While on the face of it, leaving a job as assistant GM in Columbus for a job as assistant GM in Colorado seemed like a lateral move, it represented more of a promotion. According to CBJ blogger Aaron Portzline, MacFarland mostly worked with the AHL affiliates, though he did some contract negotiating, too.

Also according to Portzline, MacFarland’s new role with the Avalanche would be primarily pro scouting and being GM Joe Sakic’s “right hand man.” Those are Portzline’s words.

From 2013 to the MacFarland hiring, it was understood that Sakic’s teammate from his Stanley Cup years, Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy, was Joe’s “right hand man,” and that he had final say in player personnel decisions.

Roy had unprecedented influence with the Colorado Avalanche as head coach and vice president of hockey operations. The understanding at the time was that the two Avs greats were working together to bring the team back to elite status using the power of their hockey brilliance.

Bringing MacFarland into the fold changed that.