"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."
Sacco was named the fifth head coach in Avalanche history, and the 13th in franchise history on June 4, 2009.
He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in his rookie season behind the bench in 2009-10. He guided the Avalanche to a 43-30-9 record (95 points) and a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that year. The Avs became the first Western Conference team to make the playoffs after finishing last in the conference the previous year since the league expanded to 30 teams in 2000-01.
Sacco was a fourth-round pick (71st overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1987 Entry Draft. He appeared in 738 total games over his 13-year career in the NHL, which included stints with Toronto, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Washington and Philadelphia. He recorded 94 goals and 119 assists for 213 points.
Lacroix, the son of Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix, was in his fourth season as VP of Hockey Operations after he was named to the role on June 3, 2009.
He spent the 2008-09 season as a pro scout with the Phoenix Coyotes after serving as co-owner/assistant coach for the Arizona Sundogs, who captured the 2008 Ray Miron President's Cup title as Central Hockey League champions.
Prior to his three seasons with the Sundogs, the former Avalanche forward worked four years in the Avalanche's hockey operations department, serving as Assistant Video Coach before being promoted to Director of Hockey Operations.
Lacroix was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round (136th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS first reported that Lacroix was no longer a part of the Avs' organization.