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Joe Sacco fired by Colorado Avalanche after four seasons as head coach

Sean Leahy
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After Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said of his future: "I'm going to go about business as usual, just like I always do ... I enjoy coaching this team. It's a young group and it's certainly headed in the right direction. As far as those decisions that will be made, those are not my decisions, so I'm not really worried about that right now."

Now he's really not worried about it. The Avalanche announced on Sunday that he had been fired.

From the Avalanche:

'The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President 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.”

In four seasons as head coach in Colorado, Sacco compiled a 130-134-30 record with one playoff appearance in 2010, his first year behind the bench. Sacco still had one year left on his contract.

No replacement has been named, which is a wise move considering there's probably a good chance Sherman joins Sacco soon enough in receiving a pink slip.

Colorado went 6-17-1 in their final 24 games and finished 29th overall during a disaster of a season that was highlighted by veteran netminder J.S. Giguere's rant about players on the team looking toward a postseason trip to Las Vegas rather than focusing on their remaining games.

That moment was a clear sign that Sacco would be a goner. Once a coach loses a room and the focus of his players, even in a lost season, it's hard to regain that concentration and it's usually time for a new voice.

That new voice is coming, but will he be given the opportunity by Greg Sherman or a new GM?

UPDATE: According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, Avalanche VP of hockey operations, Eric Lacroix, has left the organization as well. Team president and Eric's dad, Pierre, and GM Greg Sherman will remain on.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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