Avs name Sakic VP of hockey operations

The Colorado Avalanche shook up their front office on Friday, relieving team president Pierre Lacroix of his duties and promoting Hall of Famer Joe Sakic to executive vice president of hockey operations.

The club also announced that Josh Kroenke, son of owner E. Stanley Kroenke, will replace Lacroix, who will remain in the organization as an advisor.

"I am thrilled to announce that Joe Sakic has agreed to become executive vice president of hockey operations for the Avalanche," Josh Kroenke said in a statement. "In that role, Joe will be in charge of all hockey- related decisions moving forward. With his credentials, presence and knowledge of the game, Joe will be a key ingredient in making sure that together we reach our future goals."

Sakic spent his entire NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche franchise, dating back to its days in Quebec. He captained the Avalanche to a pair of Stanley Cups (1996, 2001) and retired following the 2008-09 season with 1,641 points, eighth-most in league history. Jaromir Jagr has since passed Sakic, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last fall, for eighth place.

"Last week, Josh reached out to me about the possibility of a bigger role," Sakic said in a statement. "After those discussions, I really believe that Stan and Josh are committed to this franchise and want us to get back to where we used to be and compete for the Stanley Cup. Because of their commitment, it's definitely the right time for me to take a more active role."

The 43-year-old Sakic just completed his second season as the club's executive advisor/alternate governor. One of Sakic's first tasks will be to find a new head coach.

The general manager position will remain unchanged, with Greg Sherman remaining on staff.

Kroenke inherits Lacroix's responsibilities after serving as team governor the last three years.

"A few years ago, Pierre Lacroix expressed his wishes to relinquish the title of president," Kroenke said. "At that time, we felt Pierre should keep the title of president while I gained experience. Pierre will continue to be a valuable resource for all of us."

Kroenke, 33, will continue to serve as the president and governor of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.