The Buffalo Sabres made a splash on Tuesday – but this time, it wasn’t adding a player that made the headlines. The team announced it has hired former Jack Adams award finalist Joe Sacco as an assistant coach under Ron Rolston.
Sacco, a former NHLer, joins the Sabres after being fired from his duties as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche on April 28. He went 16-25-7 with the Avalanche prior to his depature from the team.
Sacco had been with the Avalanche organization since 2005, when the team hired him as an assistant coach for the Lowell Lock Monsters of the American Hockey League. He proceeded to become head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters in 2007, before being promoted to an NHL head coaching job in 2009.
He led the Avalanche to the playoffs in 2010. Despite the team being ousted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round, Sacco had improved the team significantly over a year, and was awarded by being named a finalist for the Jack Adams. (He lost out to Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes.)
Prior to entering the coaching world, Sacco played for a number of NHL teams. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1987 and played for them until 1993. Sacco would go on to play for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers before retiring.
Sacco, 44, has never coached with current Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston before. The team is also expected to hire an additional assistant coach prior to the beginning of the NHL season.