An anonymous source has told the AP that the only captain the Colorado Avalanche have ever had will be retiring after 20 seasons in the NHL. Joe Sakic (right) was one of the Quebec Nordiques that made the pilgramage to Denver in 1995, and one of the game’s great centers, ranking among the NHL’s all-time leaders in goals (625-14th), assists (1,016-11th) and total points (8th).
The anonymous source indicates that mounting injuries, including a herniated disk in his back and a hand injury from a snowblower accident, were the main reason for Sakic’s departure. Sakic was one of those undersized guys that just did his thing every night and worried more about winning than his own personal glory, an attitude best exemplified when he famously handed the Stanley Cup to Ray Borque after the Final in 2001. And he kinda looks like Harry Connick, Jr. That’s doubly badass.
The official announcement is expected tomorrow. Sakic could still play for Team Canada in 2010; he’s been invited to camp, and the prospect of ending his hockey career in the Olympics being held in his home province of British Columbia would be tough to turn down. Either way, the NHL sucks a little bit more now that Joe Sakic is gone.