DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche have fired coach Joe Sacco a day after the team missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
General manager Greg Sherman says in a news release Sunday the ``organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward.''
Colorado never got on track in the lockout-shortened season and finished last in the Western Conference.
Sacco was hired in 2009 after coaching in the minors. He preached an up-tempo style and it served the youthful Avalanche well in his first season as the team earned a postseason spot. But the team couldn't duplicate that success.
Sacco will lead the U.S. squad at the world championships later this week. Sacco will even take several Avalanche players with him, including Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Penguins Prediction Will the Blackhawks upset the Penguins tonight when the Stanley Cup contenders clash in Pittsburgh at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Sharks Prediction The San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers could both use a win when they meet up on the ice tonight at 10:30PM...
Thumbnail Predators vs. Islanders Pick Can the Nashville Predators pick up an important road win when they take on the New York Islanders tonight at...
Thumbnail Wild vs. Red Wings Prediction Are the Red Wings a good bet to beat the Wild today at 12:30PM ET when they host Minnesota in one of their final home games?
Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?

NHL Team Pages