There are some fragmented sub-stories here.
We've always sort of wondered where hockey fans stand on the "who would you choose" debate (that only exists in our heads) between Peter Forsberg (the dynamic, fragile bruiser) and Joe Sakic (a player who - until his last two seasons - was unique both for his talents and his reliability).
With the trade of Ryan Smyth, the drafting of Matt Duchene and Sakic's retirement, the Avs seem like they're finally beginning an overdue rebuilding process.
But those are stories for another day. Although we greatly admired Sakic, it makes sense to leave his career obituary to the experts. But we will say this: even hampered with injuries, Sakic still was a considerably productive player. It wasn't long ago that he produced his last 100-point season. Perhaps it was best that Sakic decided to leave with his head held high. At the same time, few would have begrudged him if he decided on a swan song season.
Anyway, that's all WE have to say about Sakic but let's take a look around the blogosphere to see reflections on the man with one of the most lethal wrist shots in NHL history:
- Avalanche beat writer Adrian Dater bids Sakic farewell.
- "I know that this is the right time, that it would be wrong to ask Sakic to endure what would no doubt be a difficult season next year. Yet I still feel like a teenage girl who has broken up with her boyfriend right before the prom; I just want to lock myself in my room tonight with a bowl of ice cream, fighting back the tears as I clutch his picture in my hands."
- Joe Pelletier wrote up a nice synopsis of Joe's fantastic NHL career.
- Sakic will be remembered for being an all-time great off the ice, too.
- Scotty Hockey looks at the New York Rangers' flirtation with signing Sakic and wonders what could have been.
- "There are two types of heroes that are typical of stories told in frontier towns. One western hero is the the brash, cocky son-of-a-bitch who takes on the establishment and all that get in his/her way, like Billy the Kid or Molly Brown (the Avs would fill this hero role later with Patrick Roy). Then there's the noble lawman, the Teddy Rooseveltian hero who speaks softly and carries a big stick. No one speaks more softly than Joe Sakic, and no one carried a bigger stick."
- And, finally, Bangin Panger provides a little comic relief (hopefully this won't be too big a part of Burnaby Joe's legacy, though):