The Colorado Avalanche are making a great decision, promoting general manager Joe Sakic to President of Hockey Operations and Chris MacFarland to General Manager.
According to a report from Peter Baugh of The Athletic, the Colorado Avalanche made two huge moves in the front office today. Joe Sakic will be promoted to team President of Hockey Operations and Chris MacFarland will take the title of General Manager. MacFarland was rumored to be a sought after candidate for general manager this summer. Colorado decided not to risk losing him, promoting him in the front office. Many in the organization expected this move, so it’s not much of a shock.
What do Joe Sakic, Chris MacFarland promotions do for Colorado Avalanche Front Office?
This move solidifies the structure in the Avs’ front office. Joe Sakic will still have his say, but now he’ll have a larger responsibility. It’s much deserved, as now Sakic will get to run the show his way. It’s likely that key decisions like hirings and firings will need to go through him first. He rebuilt a team from rock bottom to a contender in five years. Almost every piece that won the Stanley Cup this year was brought in by Sakic. He’s had the reins for some time. Now, he’ll have the title.
Chris MacFarland is by no means unprepared for this role. His resumé is extensive and encouraging.
He was hired as Assistant General Manager by the Avalanche in 2015, and has served by Sakic’s side ever since. He knows how the Avs conduct themselves and the philosophy they live by. Before arriving in Denver, MacFarland was in Columbus’ front office for 16 years, including serving as their Assistant GM from 2008-2014. He knows how to scout, how to assemble a scouting staff, and how to build a roster.
His job will be to maintain course and uphold the standard that’s been set.
Colorado Avalanche Learning from others’ mistakes
Promoting from within is a common practice in the NHL. Most teams do it to maintain the structure that’s proven to be successful. One team that didn’t do it, and paid the price, was the Detroit Red Wings. Then-General Manager Ken Holland refused to be moved to President, which would allow Steve Yzerman to move into the General Manager role.
Yzerman had been part of Detroit’s scouting staff from the moment he retired as a player and was ready for a larger role. He took the job in Tampa Bay and built the foundation which would lead to back-to-back Stanley Cups. Detroit toiled in mediocrity for years until Yzerman returned to fix their issues.
Colorado is making sure they don’t make a similar mistake. MacFarland will be allowed to make his moves and Sakic gets to run the bigger show. The Avalanche didn’t want to risk losing MacFarland to another team.
This is a good move by Colorado. They maintain the structure that won them a championship and give someone a much deserved opportunity. It’s a common rule: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.