September 8, 2008

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Joe Says It’s So

By: realbigfathead

By John Fontana

There was a rumbling in the Rockies on Sept.2. It was caused by fans roaring at the news Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic is returning for another season.  He said during his press conference to announce his decision that he is coming back simply because he loves the game. The 39-year-old will be entering his 20th season, which is an eternity in a sport that is both graceful and brutal.

Sakic is the quintessential good guy, never turning the spotlight on himself, never spouting bravado, instead garnering attention by the way he plays.  He has two Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold medal, seven international World Cup and World Junior Cup appearances, three stints on the Canadian Olympic team and 12 All-Star Games. He has 623 goals and 1,629 points in his NHL career, which started when he was selected in the first round (No. 15) by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.  Sakic moved with the Nordiques to Denver in 1995-1996 so he has been with the same organization his entire career.

The Avs aren’t what they were in the glory days, but the fan base in Denver is not deterred. In fact, Sakic has filled them with optimism for the coming season.  Last year wasn’t so bright for Sakic, who endured arguably his most difficult season on skates. He missed 38 games after surgery for a sports hernia before returning to help the Avs reach the playoffs. Instead of a storybook ending, Sakic and the Avs ended up as mere asphalt under the steamroller driven by eventual champions the Detroit Red Wings

Mr Clutch

Joe Sakic Fathead: Mr Clutch

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But that was last year, Sakic said in his recent  “I’m back” press conference that he is happy with new roster additions that include Per Ledin, Andrew Raycroft, Daniel Tjarnqvist, Darcy Tucker and Brian Willsie.
“I like what we have here, but the biggest decision for me was whether I was willing to do what it took to play,” Sakic said. “And once I started training and got the excitement, I realized I wanted to come back.”
As fans wait for the puck to drop, what do you think Sakic means to the Avs chance at the playoffs – and dare I say a Stanley Cup run?

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