When Patrick Roy turned down the Avalanche coaching gig in 2009, Joe Sacco was hired right away to fill the opening. The Avs took some criticism at the time for not conducting a more thorough search. Joe Sakic will not repeat that mistake. Sacco was fired April 28, and the job remains unfilled, along with those of an assistant coach and a goalie coach. Sakic knows this is the biggest decision of his young tenure as the Avs' vice president of hockey operations, and he's going to take his time to get it right. He hopes to have a head coach by the NHL draft on June 30, but even that isn't a cinch. He isn't going to be ruled by a calendar on the hire. What type of coach Sakic wants remains an open question. At his introductory news conference, the Hall of Famer was quoted as saying he didn't want to hire a coach from the junior ranks, indicating he wanted a coach with NHL head coaching experience. But Sakic has since backed off that stance and may take a second look at a Roy or, say, a Mike Johnston from the Portland Winterhawks, or maybe a guy from the American Hockey League such as Dallas Eakins of the Toronto Marlies. Sakic also could wait on other, more established candidates. Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, for example, is waiting in limbo for what happens next with the ownership of the franchise before deciding whether he wants to stay there, and his contract runs out June 30. If it appears the Coyotes remain unstable for much longer, Tippett could ask out to talk to other teams. The Avs and his former team, Dallas, have openings that could look attractive to him. Tippett was fired by the Stars in 2009, and in retrospect it appears to have been a mistake by the Avs not to consider him as a replacement for Tony Granato after Roy turned down the job. Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault may be looking for work soon, and Sakic may consider him a good candidate.
Joe Sakic in no hurry to hire Colorado Avalanche head coach
Denver Post | May 19