The Colorado Avalanche have fired head coach Joe Sacco after the team failed to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight season.
"The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said in a statement.
"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," he added.
The Avalanche hired Sacco in 2009 to replace Tony Granato and made the playoffs in his first season as eighth seed in the Western Conference. However, they lost to the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in the first round.
Since then, they have failed to qualify in each of the three seasons since, slumping from 95 points to 68 points in his Sacco's second season.
With the help of Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche improved to 88 points in 2011-12 and remained in the playoff chase until late in the campaign.
This season, the Avalanche lost four of their first six games and never climbed above .500 again, finishing the season in 29th place for the second time in three years.
In four seasons with the Avalanche, Sacco tallied a 130-134-30 record. It was his first job as an NHL coach after four years in the American Hockey League.
Colorado made the playoffs in each of its first 10 years after moving to Denver from Quebec City and won the Stanley Cup twice, but the Avalanche have reached the postseason just twice since 2006.
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