Joe Sakic announced his retirement from the Colorado Avalanche earlier today, and the deserved tributes will be pouring in from all over. In fact, Sakic is a guy who I have NEVER heard anyone say anything negative about. Great player, hard worker, leader, great team mate, great guy off the ice. Even some of the folks around here who root for teams other than The Lanche and don't like them, can't find a bad thing to say about Sakic, other than he was injured and ineffective in his last 2 years. But Joe knew that too, and that is why he retired. If fact, Sakic was so respected by other players that guys like Paul Kariya signed with the team for less money just to play with him.
When I was at auctioneer school last year, one of the instructors was telling us about the fundraiser he had just done. Sakic was at his dinner table, and the auctioneer mentioned that Joe had never been in a fight. I corrected him, as I had seen Sakic's one fight, in the late 90's against Doug Gilmour. Not surprisingly, Sakic won the fight too.
Sakic played his whole career with the same team, won championships, is a future Hall of Famer and a credit to his sport. If was the role model for your kids that Charles Barkley said athletes shouldn't need to be. Unfortunately, I doubt sports fans will see many athletes replicate the life of Super Joe.