BUFFALO, N.Y. (Sabres Press Release) --- Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston today announced Joe Sacco has been named to an assistant coaching position with the team. Sacco will start in his new role on Rolston’s staff immediately, joining fellow assistant coach Teppo Numminen.
Sacco has spent the previous four seasons, from 2009-10 – 2012-13, as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Under his guidance, the Avalanche compiled a 130-134-30 record, including Colorado’s 40-30-9 campaign in 2009-10 that earned the team a berth in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team’s performance that season, which was Sacco’s first as an NHL head coach, put him on the list of finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the league’s best coach.
This past spring, Sacco was the head coach of Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. Sacco’s squad advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament and eventually won the bronze medal.
Prior to the Avalanche, Sacco served as head coach of Colorado’s AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, from 2007-08 – 2008-09. With Sacco at the helm, the Monsters compiled a 60-79-21 record through the two seasons. He has also served as an assistant coach with the Lowell Lock Monsters (AHL), the Albany River Rats (AHL) and with Team USA at the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Sacco, who retired from playing professional hockey in 2003, played in the NHL for 13 seasons. Drafted by Toronto in the fourth round (71st overall) in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, he went on to play right wing for the Maple Leafs, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Washington and Philadelphia. Through 738 NHL games, Sacco amassed 213 points (94+119) and 421 penalty minutes. Internationally, Sacco played for the United States at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, as well as appearing with Team USA at six World Championships.
The Medford, Mass. native attended Boston University for three years, suiting up with the Terriers for 111 games from 1987-88 – 1989-90.