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Avalanche give Sacco a 2-year extension

Associated Press Published: April 11, 2012

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche rewarded coach Joe Sacco with a two-year extension even in the wake of the team missing the postseason for a second straight season.

The Avs were in the thick of the playoff chase until late in the season, but dropped six of their final seven games to fade out of the picture. Still, Colorado improved by 20 points from a season ago, when the team had the second-to-worst record in the NHL.

"Joe has earned the opportunity to lead this young team," general manager Greg Sherman said Wednesday. "Our club made significant strides this season and we look forward to continuing that next season."

Now that Sacco is on board, the Avalanche might turn their attention toward on-ice leader Milan Hejduk. The captain remains torn between returning for a 14th season or skating off into retirement. He's the last remaining link to the Avalanche's Stanley Cup glory days.

The Avalanche also face some weighty decisions regarding their roster. Peter Mueller is a restricted free agent, along with defenseman Erik Johnson, leading scorer Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene, who missed a chunk of the season with knee and ankle injuries.

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