Fantasy Impact - The Colorado Avalanche have fired their Head Coach Joe Sacco after four years with the club, despite one year left on his contract.
I wouldn't expect the team to announce a new coach until closer to the NHL Entry Draft.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The Sacco firing has more of an impact on the players than the Joe Nieuwendyk firing, simply because a coach more directly impacts performance than a GM.
The Avalanche, under Sacco, ranked the following, in terms of "goals for":
2009-10 - 6th
2010-11 - 18th
2011-12 - 23rd
2012-13 - 26th
As you can see, what started out as 'promising', quickly went downhill. The player who has, offensively, been the biggest disappointment is Paul Stastny. And defenseman Erik Johnson is a close second. Under a new coach, the two of them have the best chance of turning things around.
Under a new coaching system, everything changes. A clean slate. The only thing that would influence ice time is the size of the contract - which puts PA Parenteau, Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, Steve Downie, David Jones (if they don't buy him out - what was GM Sherman thinking with that contract?) and of course Stastny and Johnson in a safe place. You can also consider Gabriel Landeskog safe, since he's the captain.
The rest of the team will have to earn their keep, earning every minute of ice time. Jamie McGinn and Tyson Barrie owners beware.
Regarding the heavily rumored trading of Stastny, I think the odds of that are reduced. Again - a new coach, a clean slate.