July 10, 2009

No average Joe

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

With Joe Sakic’s retirement yesterday, it marks the end of an era. Joe was one of the last stars of the 90s who was still hanging around late into the Aughts. He retires sitting eighth in career points (1641), 11th in assists (1016) and 14th in goals (625). He’s also one of the few players in the recent history of the NHL to stay with a team his entire career. In fact, his 1641 points are the fifth most by one player for one franchise. And the guys he trails are some of the best players to ever play the game of ice hockey: Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.

Really, this decision was easy to see coming. After missing the majority of last season and battling injuries over the past few years, it shouldn’t have been too hard for Sakic to decide to hang them up. Throw in the Avs move towards rebuilding and getting younger (e.g. the Ryan Smyth trade) and Sakic wouldn’t have a huge role on the team he would be captaining. If anything, he’d just be helping the kids develop, something that he could maybe better accomplish as a coach.

Also, of the men who proudly wore the sweater of the Quebec Nordiques, there will now only be two, possibly three, men left in the NHL with Sakic’s retirement. Adam Foote, Jocelyn Thibault and, if he returns for another season, Mats Sundin.

We’ll miss you Joe.

1 Comment

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