The Colorado Avalanche are making some front office changes after winning the Stanley Cup. Joe Sakic, who was recently given the Jim Gregory award as GM of the year, will be promoted to president of hockey operations, while Chris MacFarland will become the team’s new general manager.
A move like this was necessary if the team was going to keep MacFarland in the picture, as he had drawn plenty of interest from around the league. The long-time executive has been with the Avalanche since 2015, coming over that year from the Columbus Blue Jackets where he had served for more than a decade. There was always going to be a time when he was given the keys to a team of his own, and when he wasn’t included in some of the other recent general manager searches, it appeared as though a promotion in Colorado was imminent.
In this case, he’ll get the opportunity to run a team with the support of a manager that is not only a franchise icon but an extremely successful executive in his own right. Sakic will be able to take a lot of the pressure off of MacFarland with the press and help him to continue the excellent work that the front office has done over the last several years.
It is interesting to see this move happen just ahead of free agency, and it only strengthens the idea that MacFarland was already doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the organization. He’ll now have control of the ship, even if Sakic is still standing over his shoulder guiding him across uncharted waters.