Call it love at first game as Joe Sakic watched his first NHL game in the stands of Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum. A young Burnaby Joe ditched soccer only because he was sick and tired of getting rained on. For that reason, the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado Avalanche organizations (plus all hockey fans alike) are ever grateful for the wet weather in British Columbia.
Fast forward 30 some odd years later, and fans wondered if he would ever retire. He labored on his left-hand wrist shot, learning to fire it from the right side of the ice. “I would shoot pucks for hours, from all kids of different positions,” Sakic told the Denver Post. “It became something that I had to do every day, right to the end of my career. If I ever missing a day of that, I would stress out.”
His achievements is similar to what you would imagine is as long as a child’s Christmas wish list with over 1,300 NHL games under his belt, Olympic Gold, two Stanley Cups, Memorial Cup championships, World Jr. gold, the list can go on and on. He is described as complete, unselfish player, and great leader. He endured three consecutive seasons finishing last overall with the Quebec Nordiques, which resulted in the all-mighty Colorado Avalanche. His leadership the Avalanche to two Stanley Cups. Fellow teammate Ray Bourque had waited longer to win his first Stanley Cup than any other Cup-winning player had in the 108 year history of the Stanley Cup, having played over 1,600 regular season games and 214 playoff games before winning the cup. As a sign of Sakic’s true character, he handed the Cup to Bourque for its first lift in the 2000-2001 season, and what has now become engrained into one of the most historical moments in NHL history.
Now the man that let his actions speak louder than words can now add Hockey Hall of Fame onto his resume.