Pierre Lacroix, former Avalanche/Nordiques GM, dies at 72

Pierre Lacroix, the former general manager of the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche, has died at the age of 72.

The Avalanche confirmed his death in a statement Sunday.

Lacroix started his career as a player agent before moving to the Nordiques’ front office and was with the team when it moved to Colorado in 1995.

He was known for orchestrating several big trades that helped build the Avalanche into a top contender, including a deal that brought goalie Patrick Roy to Denver.

Colorado won two Stanley Cups under Lacroix’s leadership, and the club says in a statement that he was instrumental in building the Avalanche brand.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says in a statement that Lacroix’s eye for talent, appreciation for elite-level athletes and fearlessness in pulling off the big trade made him one of the most successful team builders in the league’s recent history.

“Fiercely competitive and personally engaging, he was highly regarded by his fellow general managers and his voice was respected throughout the league,” Bettman said.

Lacroix is survived by his wife, Colombe, his sons Martin and Eric, and his three grandchildren.

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