This season could be the end of Joe Sacco’s term as head coach whether the Colorado Avalanche make a second-half run toward a postseason berth or not.
The reason, you ask? The possibility of taking a job at a lower level that means more to Sacco. That would be the head coach position at Boston University, the alma mater of the current Colorado coach. The job became available when Jack Parker announced his retirement from the university, effective after the season concludes for the Terriers.
With the position now open for the taking, Adrian Dater of The Denver Post speculates whether Sacco would be interested in taking over at the university. Dater writes that one would assume it would be tough for Sacco to turn down that type of opportunity if it was offered to him, citing his close ties to the school and the area.
Dater also notes that if Sacco wants to leave the Avalanche, he would have to be granted permission beforehand. This is because in April 2012, he signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him the head coach in Colorado until after next season.
But if Sacco really wants to leave, Colorado should absolutely let him go.
There’s no reason to keep Sacco—an argument that should stand true even if he doesn’t go down to the college level after this season. The Avalanche's results over the years haven’t been favorable for Sacco, despite the product that general manager Greg Sherman has given him.
After losing in the 2009-10 NHL quarterfinals in Sacco’s first year at the helm, the Avalanche have yet to return to the postseason. In fact, they haven’t finished better than third in the Northwest division over the last two seasons either.
This lockout-shortened season has been underwhelming as well, even though Colorado is just a handful of points outside of playoff contention. Sacco hasn’t done a good job of managing Colorado’s special teams as the Avalanche currently sit near the bottom of the league in power-play and penalty-kill percentage.
Earlier in the year, Dater questioned whether Sacco as well as much of the front office was in a bit of denial as to the current state of the organization. It seems as if the team is content with mediocrity or just being flat out terrible. Sacco can’t motivate his players to win games and it’s time to stop the bleeding. He can’t continue to make excuses for the losing.
If Sacco wants to go coach at Boston University, let him. Help him pack his bags. Pay for his flight. Do whatever it takes to make sure that he is no longer the coach of the Avalanche again.
It’s time to move on from Joe Sacco.