The Colorado Avalanche gave coach Joe Sacco 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. Still, Colorado improved by 20 points from a season ago, when the team had the second-to-worst record in the NHL.
In a release Wednesday, general manager Greg Sherman said Sacco has ''earned the opportunity to lead this young team.''
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 retirement.