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Joseph Steven Sakic Biography

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Joseph Steven Sakic

Birthdate:   July 7, 1969
Website: N/A
Category: Sports

Joseph Steven Sakic was born in Burnaby, British Columbia July 7, 1969. The son of Croatian immigrants (Marijan and Slavica) he didn’t learn to speak English until well into his first year of kindergarten and many attribute his quiet, demure demeanour to this fact.

A comparatively smaller player on the ice, he modeled his game after his idol, Wayne Gretzky, relying on skill rather than size to excel. A standout in the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association for Burnaby Selects, he caught the eye of the then Lethbridge Broncos of the Western Hockey League who brought him up for the end of the 85/86 season. The Broncos relocated to Swift Current the following year and Joe put on a show for the new fans, potting 60 goals and 73 assists for 133 points and earned himself Rookie of the Year honours in the WHL. However success on the ice was overshadowed by tragedy off the ice; on the night of December 30, 1986 the team was enroute to a game with their Provincial rivals, the Regina Pats when their bus hit a patch of black ice and rolled into the ditch. Four of his teammates (Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff) were killed in the incident and while Joe was unhurt it affected him deeply, to the point that he declined to talk about the crash during his career.

The next year, one dedicated to the memory of the four fallen players, Joe scored 78 goals and 82 assists, garnering WHL Most Valuable Player and Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year honours. He tied Theoren Fleury of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the WHL scoring title.

Drafted by the Quebec Nordiques 15th overall in the '87 entry draft, Joe declined to join the club, instead choosing to remain in Swift Current for the 1987–88 season. He made the jump the following year and scored his first of MANY NHL goals on October 6 against the Hartford Whalers. Many pegged him for the Calder Cup favourite (rookie of the year) but an ankle injury and an end of the year drought derailed that dream. He ended his rookie year with 62 points in 70 games.

His second season was eventful; he regained his familiar #19 (teammate Alain Côté had retired over the summer), he ended the season 9th in scoring with 102 points and he emerged as one of the leaders on the team, so much so that management named him co-captain along with Steven Finn (Sakic was captain for home games) at the start of the 90/91 schedule. He would raise MANY eyebrows a year later when the normally quiet Sakic would speak out on the now infamous Eric Lindros/Quebec Nordique controversy, saying ""We only want players here who have the passion to play the game. I'm tired of hearing that name. He's not here and there are a lot of others in this locker room who really care about the game."

In 1992–93 the team named him sole Captain and the Nordiques made the playoffs for the first time in six years.

In May 1995 the Nordiques organization announced that the team had been sold and would be moving South; before the start of the 1995–96 NHL season, the franchise moved to Denver, Colorado and was renamed the Colorado Avalanche. Rather than upset the teams rise up the NHL ranks that was apparent over the previous few seasons it seemed to inspire them; to many Quebecers dismay Sakic led the team to its first Stanley Cup championship, picking up 34 points in 22 playoff games and the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the Playoffs.

Joe led the Avalanche to their second Stanley Cup championship in 2000/2001, and won the Hart Memorial Trophy (player most valuable to his team), the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (most sportsmanlike) and the Lester B. Pearson Award (most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHLPA) along the way. But he saved his classiest moment till the end; after defeating the New Jersey Devils in an amazing seven games series he chose not to hoist the cup when it was handed to him but chose instead to hand it over to long-time NHLer Ray Bourque who had joined the team at the beginning of the season in hopes of kissing Stanley before he retired, which he did at the end of the season.

Sakic was an oddity in the NHL, playing his entire career on one team (albeit two cities) and showed that even the smaller players can have longevity in what was fast becoming a big mans league.



GP     G     A     Pts     PIM     GP     G     A     Pts     PIM

1378     625     1016     1641     614     172     84     104     188     78


Year     Team     Event     GP     G     A     P     PIM
1987     Canada     -     1     0     0     0     0
1988     Canada     WJC     7     3     1     4     2
1991     Canada     WC     10     6     5     11     0
1994     Canada     WC     8     4     3     7     27
1996     Canada     WCp     8     2     2     4     6
1998     Canada     Oly     4     1     2     3     4
2002     Canada     Oly     6     4     3     7     0
2004     Canada     WCp     6     4     2     6     2
2006     Canada     Oly     6     1     2     3     0

All-Star games

Year     Location     G     A     P
1990     Pittsburgh     0     2     2
1991     Chicago     0     1     1
1992     Philadelphia     0     2     2
1993     Montreal     0     3     3
1994     New York     1     2     3
1996     Boston     0     0     0       0
1997     San Jose     -     -     -
1998     Vancouver     0     2     2
2000     Toronto     1     0     1
2001     Denver     1     0     1       1
2002     Los Angeles     0     0     0
2004     Saint Paul     3     0     3
2007     Dallas     0     4     4       8
All-Star totals     6     16     22



8th place – Regular season points (1641)
11th place – Regular season assists (1016)
14th place – Regular season goals (625)
35th place – Regular season games played (1363)
1st place – All-Star game assists (16)
3rd place – All-Star game points (22)


1st place – Most overtime goals (8)[60]
2nd place – Most goals in single season (18, in 1995–96)[24]
7th place – Playoff points (188)
7th place – Playoff goals (84)
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Posted by: WDHIII      Last updated: 16-08-2009      Hits: 10494