Former Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix dies at 72

Former Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix dies at age 72
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Former Colorado Avalanche GM and executive Pierre Lacroix died at 72. Le Journal de Quebec reports that Lacroix died in Las Vegas on Sunday due to COVID-19 complications.

The Avalanche paid tribute to Pierre Lacroix with this statement on Sunday:

It is with great sadness that the Colorado Avalanche organization has learned of the passing of Pierre Lacroix. Pierre was the architect of the Avalanche’s two Stanley Cup championships, which included the city of Denver’s first major sports championship in 1996. Pierre was instrumental in not only the team’s on-ice success but also building the Avalanche brand into what it is today. His legacy reaches far beyond the NHL level and his impact can be felt throughout all of youth hockey in the Rocky Mountain region. Our thoughts are with the Lacroix family during this difficult time, his wife, Colombe, his sons Martin and Eric, and his three grandchildren.

In 1994, Lacroix became the GM of the Quebec Nordiques. Soon after, the Nordiques relocated to Colorado as the Avalanche, with Lacroix making the transition.

Thanks in part to the memorable Patrick Roy trade, Lacroix helped the Avalanche win the 1995-96 Stanley Cup. Roy, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and others also won a Stanley Cup in 2000-01. As the Denver Post also points out, the Avalanche won its division in each of Lacroix’s first nine seasons as GM.

Lacroix served as Avalanche GM until 2006, then stuck around as team president until 2013. Along with that Roy trade, Lacroix made plenty of other big moves as Avalanche GM, including trading for Ray Bourque and Rob Blake.

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