Colorado will not have to worry about having a captain different than the only one they have ever known.
Joe Sakic has signed with the Colorado Avalanche for one year (THN). The details have not been specified, but James Mirtle expects it to be in the range of $6.75 million. That is the same amount he made last season.
He is one of the last players the league knows that has spent his entire career with one organization. He was drafted in 1987 by the Quebec Nordiques, and went with the team to Denver when it was relocated.
Sakic had this to say about coming back:
“Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I still enjoy playing and competing,” Sakic said in a statement. “I’m comfortable with my conditioning and my overall health. I’m ready for the start of camp and am looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Hopefully this can have some kind of impact of another aging superstar: Mats Sundin. And as the Avalanche are one of the few legitimate candidates for Sundin, maybe this an even more reasonable destination.
Only time will tell, but I’ll tell you why Sakic returning means so much to me.
His departure would be like taking Charlie Conway’s character out of the Mighty Ducks for the third movie (even though the flick was quite a downer).
Sakic is the heart and soul of the Colorado Avalanche, and has been the only captain the franchise has ever known since moving to Denver in 1996. I’m not a big fan of teams from Canada being relocated, the Avs are the transplanted version of the Quebec Nordiques, but this move worked.
James Mirtle pointed out that Sakic is close to making history.
If he can register 94 points this season, he will pass Penguin great Mario Lemieux for seventh on the all-time scoring list. What an unbelievable feat!
An even at an old age, in the last three years since the lockout Sakic has remained among the top scorers in the league. Mirtle points out that he is 17th in points per game during that span.
Sakic is widely recognized by our generation. As we were growing up, the NHL was at its height of popularity on a national scale. At that time, the Avalanche were the team to beat.
Patrick Roy, Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic were kings of the hockey world, and won the Stanley Cup in 1996.
Kids everywhere were wearing red and blue sweaters. I know several kids, now adults, who are fans of the Avalanche because of that Stanley Cup run.
As much as I would hate to see Lemieux move down the list of the league’s greatest scorers, it would be great to see his mark passed by another standout guy.
Not only has Sakic been a great hockey player, but he has been a great person. He won the M.A.C. award in 1998 for his work with children and has always been a consistent community server.