Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Joe Sakic Collection

Aside from maybe some Red Wings fans here and there, it's probably safe to say that the hockey world was universally bummed out to hear that Joe Sakic announced his retirement from the NHL.

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:

  • "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."
- David from Mile High Hockey
  • "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."
- Jibblescribbits
  • And, finally, Bangin Panger provides a little comic relief (hopefully this won't be too big a part of Burnaby Joe's legacy, though):


Joe said...

Hey man, most of us Wings fans may have hated the Avs, but we at least respected Sakic. Hated that he played for a major rival, but respected him. I think that went both ways for each fanbase, with each #19. One of the best of his generation, and a real class act.

I dont even remember the circumstances, but I remember sometime in the late 90's during a Wings/Avs game, there was some sort of big ruckus where a couple guys got into fights and there was just a lot of pushing and shoving, and then both 19's were standing off to the side, just kind of standing there talking to each other with smiles on. Hell, it probably happened more than once, but I definitely remember the one. They were probably standing there talking about how they ought to fight each other, but they were too old for such things and should leave it to the kids.

Joe said...

Oh, and there is absolutely no competition between Forsberg and Sakic. None whatsoever. As you said, that is definitely all in your head.

Chris Kontos said...

A friend of mine was attending the University of Denver the year the Nordiques moved out west. He's at a frat party one night and who walks in but Sakic, Forsberg, Deadmarsh and friends. Needless to say, the ladies lost their interest in my friend right away.

jamestobrien said...

@ Chris:

That was really Sakic's first battle against a snowblower! Hahahaha!

(G-g-get it? Because it's a lady and Denver is s..snowy? *Cough*)

@ Joe:

You'd be surprised, a lot of people have been seduced by Foppa's ruffian blend of power and playmaking. In fact, we had an All-Decade Team battle for center that I thought was between Sakic and Thornton ... only Forsberg won!

(Unless you think Foppa wins the contest without a question, which I doubt)