It’s with horrible sadness that I report that Pierre Lacroix, who led the Avalanche to two Stanley Cups and eight straight division titles as president and general manager, has died at age 72. His son, Eric, confirmed the news to Colorado Hockey Now.
Lacroix was a former player agent who moved to the other side of the desk in 1994 as general manager of the Quebec Nordiques, then moved to Denver along with the franchise in 1995 and led an unprecedented reign of success with the Avalanche. He remains the only GM NHL history to win nine straight division titles – all in his first nine years on the job. Known for his brash, swashbuckling moves, he engineered several blockbuster trades that helped the Avs win Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001 and sent the team to the Western Conference finals six of its first seven seasons in Denver.
Lacroix, a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, left the Avs in 2013, retiring to the Las Vegas area, on Lake Las Vegas. He is survived by his wife, Colombe and sons, Eric and Martin.
I will have much more on Pierre Lacroix later. This is devastating news to all who knew him. I learned so much from him, not just about hockey, but about life. He was a very good and decent man.
Here is an article I wrote recently about him, and how he should absolutely be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.