Sakic was the recipient of the 2021-22 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, the first manager in club history to receive the honor. Under Sakic’s stewardship, the Avalanche had their most successful regular season in franchise history (56-19-7, 119 points) and followed that up in the postseason with a 16-4 playoff mark en route to winning the Stanley Cup 2022 onwards. Sakic, who led the Avalanche to two titles in 1996 and 2001, became the first person in league history to win a Stanley Cup as captain and GM with the same organization. Colorado’s 72 combined wins last season equaled the NHL record set by the Canadiens in 1976-77, the Oilers in 1983-84 and the Red Wings in 1995-96.
Colorado’s Stanley Cup championship came five years after a last-place finish in 2016-17. The Avs became the fifth team in the Expansion Era (1967-68) to win a title in five years from a last-place finish, and the first since the 2009 Penguins. Colorado won the 2020-21 Presidents’ Trophy and was becoming the first NHL team to go from worst to first overall in four seasons or less since the Bruins in 1970-71.
The 2021-22 campaign marked Sakic’s ninth season as executive vice president, his eleventh year overall in the organization’s front office. He assumed his current duties on 10 May 2013. Prior to assuming this role, Sakic, 53, served as the club’s executive advisor/assistant governor for two years, a position he was hired for on 25 March 2011.
Sakic announced his retirement from playing hockey on July 9, 2009, after a career that spanned 20 seasons and 1,378 games with the same organization. He wore the “C” as team captain for 16 consecutive seasons (17 seasons total), making him the second-longest serving captain in NHL history. A native of Burnaby, BC, he won the franchise’s first Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2001, won the 1996 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, won the 2001 Lester B. Pearson Award (NHLPA MVP) and the Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship ). was named to the NHL First Team All-Star three times (2001, 2002 and 2004).
Sakic was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, in his first year of eligibility. Sakic, the only player to have spent his entire career with the Avalanche organization to earn that honor, was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 12, 2012. NHL Hockey in 2017. By the Quebec Nordiques in Selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 1987 Entry Draft, Sakic’s No. 19 jersey was retired by the Avalanche during a pregame ceremony on October 1, 2009.
MacFarland, 52, has just completed his seventh season as the Avalanche’s Assistant GM. MacFarland was hired on May 21, 2015 and has worked closely with Sakic on all hockey-related matters during his time in Colorado-21 and winning the 2022 Stanley Cup.
Before joining Avalanche, MacFarland was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team for 16 years. He has worked in almost every facet of the organization, including scouting at the professional and amateur levels, player contract negotiations, salary cap administration and arbitration, collective bargaining administration, budgeting and team planning. He also oversaw the hockey operations of the Blue Jackets’ minor league affiliates.
MacFarland joined Columbus ahead of the 1999-00 NHL season and served as the club’s manager of hockey operations from 2001 to 2007 before being promoted to assistant general manager in July 2007. A year later, he moved to the position of Assistant General Manager July 2008. Born March 28, 1970 in the Bronx, New York, he played college hockey at Pace University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1992 and 1998 graduated from the University Law School. He began his career at the 1993-1994 intern at the NHL New York office and worked in the NHL production office while he was in law school.
Heading into the 2021-22 campaign, Sakic, MacFarland and co locked in the captain Gabriel Landeskog to an eight-year deal while also signing a defense attorney Kal Makar to a six-year contract.
Landeskog, the second overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, led the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in his 10th season with the “C” on his sweater. Makar, the fourth overall pick of the 2017 NHL draft, won the 2021-22 Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Acquired the Avalanche Darcy Kumper in a trade on July 28, 2021 and a signed free agent Darren Helm On the next day. The club continued to strengthen the team as the trade deadline approached, adding Josh Manson on March 14 and Arturi Lehkonen and Andrew Cogliano on March 21st.
Mikko Rantanena first-round pick (10th overall in 2015) who the Avalanche signed to a six-year contract in 2019, led the club in goals last season after being named to the NHL’s second All-Star team the year before was. Nathan MacKinnonfirst overall draft pick in 2013 and first player selected by Sakic as GM, was a three-time Hart Trophy finalist from 2017-18 to 2020-21.
Makar (2020), MacKinnon (2014) and Landeskog (2012) have all won the Calder Trophy since Sakic joined the front office. No team has had as many Rookie-of-the-Year winners in that span.
In recent years, Sakic and his staff have contributed to this Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakowski about trading during signing Valery Nikhushkin. Kadri was selected for his first NHL All-Star Game last year, while Nichushkin and Burakovsky were instrumental in the club’s success.
The Avalanche have also improved their blue line. Samuel Girard was acquired in November 2017 in a three-team deal, a deal that also earned the fourth overall pick of the 2019 NHL draft, defensive back Bowen Byram. During the 2020 off-season, the club acquired Devon Toews and signed him to a four-year contract. Last fall, the Avs brought in JackJohnson at a preseason professional tryout and went on to play 74 regular season and 13 playoff contests.
The Avalanche organization has been called the best farming system in the NHL The Ice Hockey News in their 2020 future clock Output. Colorado boasted NHL No. 1 candidate Byram and No. 13 candidate, also a 2019 first-rounder Alex Newhook (16th overall).
Head Coach Jared Bednar, hired from Sakic in August 2016, is the most successful regular-season coach in Colorado history (240-168-46, .579) and the first Avalanche bench boss to lead his teams to five consecutive playoff spots led. After guiding Colorado to the 2022 Stanley Cup, Bednar became the first singles player to win a championship in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL as a head coach. Bednar, a 2018 Jack Adams Award finalist, has the third-highest postseason win ratio (.635, 40-22-1) in Stanley Cup Playoff history.