July 9, 2009

Joe Sakic retires after 20 NHL seasons

Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic retired Thursday after a 20-year NHL career during which he played on two Stanley Cup championship teams.

Sakic, 40, the face of the franchise, spent his entire 20-year NHL career with Colorado or the Quebec Nordiques. He ends a productive and illustrious career with 1,641 points -- 625 goals, 1,016 assists -- with nine seasons of 30-or-more goals and six with 100-or-more points, all franchise highs.

The center is eighth overall in points, 11th in assists and 14th in goals all-time.

Avalanche officials said this week Sakic's No. 19 sweater will be retired during a ceremony at the season opener and will hang in the rafters at Denver's Pepsi Center.

After having the privilege of playing for 20 years, I'm leaving the game of hockey with nothing but great memories and a sense of accomplishment, he said Colorado's Web site.

We can't put into words what he meant to this franchise and to our hockey fans, said Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix.