Here's To You Joe Sakic: Thanks For The Memories

Kenny LindbergContributor IJuly 9, 2009

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 09:  Joe Sakic (C) addresses the media as he announces his retirement during a press conference at the Inverness Hotel on July 9, 2009 in Englewood, Colorado. (L-R) are Don Baizley, Debbie Sakic, Joe Sakic, Pierre Lacroix and Greg Sherman. Sakic played 20 years in the NHL with the same organization, the Quebec Nordiques from 1988-1995 and the Colorado Avalanche from 1995 to 2009.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Today officially ended on of the greatest careers of the past generation of hockey. Joe Sakic announced publicly today he will hang up the skates after a brilliant 20 year career all with one franchise.

Joe Sakic was one of a rare breed of player, no matter how much you could ever dislike the Avalanche or Nordiques, there was never a way you could hate Joe Sakic. I have grown up a Pittsburgh Penguins fan my entire life, but I am still deeply saddened by his retirement, although I have known it would happen.

Sakic has won two Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy, Lester B. Person Trophy, and a Conn Smyth, among other awards within and out of hockey. He has over 1600 points, and 600 goals.

Joe Sakic will go down as one of the greatest leaders of all-time, at least in the NHL if not all of sports, because he was a true leader, never known for calling out players, but rather encouraging them.

The whole National Hockey League Family from owners to players, to even fans will feel a little piece of their heart has been taken out when they will tune in starting this fall and into winter as they work with or watch the Avalanche and not see the grizzled vet in a 19 jersey skating around the ice.

Sakic's legacy will be forever cemented on opening night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, when his number will be retired.

Joe Sakic will in my opinion go down as one of the greatest players in NHL history, not just by finishing his career 8th in points, but showcasing how influential one single player can be to an entire community.

Here's to you Joe Sakic congratulations on a spectacular career you deserve to be a first ballot hall-of-famer unanimously.