Former Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced today. Sakic, along with Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin, will be officially inducted on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 in Toronto.
“Joe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word and today’s announcement came as no surprise to hockey fans around the world,” said Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix. “Joe’s contributions to the game of hockey have been invaluable and his achievements speak for themselves. The induction ceremony this coming November will be a culmination of a brilliant career that spanned 20 years with our organization. Joe’s numbers and records place him among the best of all time and we can’t fully express what he meant to this franchise and our community. He was a complete professional and we are all grateful to have watched him for so many years. Congratulations to you, Joe, on a Hall of Fame career, you truly deserve it.”
Sakic, who turns 43 on July 7, will become the first player who has spent his entire career with the Avalanche organization to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Other Hall of Famers who played with the Avalanche includes Ray Bourque (class of 2004), Jari Kurri (class of 2001) and Patrick Roy (class of 2006).
Sakic wore the ‘C’ as team captain for 16 consecutive seasons (17 seasons overall), making him the second-longest serving captain in NHL history. Sakic led the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup titles (1996, 2001), which included the city of Denver’s first major professional sports championship in 1996. The Burnaby, B.C., native captured the franchise’s first Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2001, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1996, earned the Lester B. Pearson Award (NHLPA MVP) and Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) in 2001 and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team on three occasions (2001, 2002 and 2004).
Sakic retired as the eighth-highest scorer in NHL history with 1,641 career points, a total that still ranks ninth all-time. At the time of his retirement he sat 14th all-time in goals (625) and 11th in assists (1,016). Only four players have ever recorded more points with a single franchise: Gordie Howe (1809) and Steve Yzerman (1755) with Detroit, Mario Lemieux with Pittsburgh (1723) and Wayne Gretzky with Edmonton (1669). Sakic ranks seventh all-time in playoff goals (84) and is tied for eighth in playoff points (188). He holds the NHL record with eight postseason overtime goals.
Selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the first round (15th overall) of the 1987 Entry Draft, Sakic is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, power-play goals (205), short-handed goals (32) and game-winning goals (86). He scored 30 or more goals in a franchise-record nine different seasons and surpassed the 20-goal mark in 17 of his 20 campaigns. He is also the club’s all-time leader in playoff games (172), goals, assists (104), points, PPG (27), SHG (4) and GWG (19).
With Sakic as team captain, the Avalanche/Nordiques captured an NHL-record nine consecutive division championships from 1995 to 2003. In addition to its two Stanley Cup titles, the Avalanche also won two Presidents’ Trophies and made six appearances in the Western Conference Finals during that time span.
Sakic recorded 15 career hat tricks, second most in team history, and also scored two in the playoffs. He was a perfect 5-for-5 on penalty shot attempts (4-for-4 in regular season) and was 7-for-21 (33.3%) in shootouts.
Sakic, who made his NHL debut on Oct. 6, 1988 against the Hartford Whalers, was selected to 13 NHL All-Star Games, making 12 appearances. He holds the All-Star Game record for career assists with 16, and ranks third on the All-Star points list with 22. Sakic was named MVP of the 2004 All-Star Game and captained the 2007 Western Conference squad.
A three-time Olympian with Team Canada (1998, 2002, 2006), Sakic was the MVP of the 2002 Olympics after lifting Canada to its first gold medal in 50 years. He captained the Canadian Olympic Team at the 2006 Winter Games. Sakic also helped Canada win gold at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the 1994 IIHF World Championship and 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Prior to turning pro, Sakic was the 1988 Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year after leading the Western Hockey League with 78 goals and 160 points in 64 games with Swift Current.
Off the ice, Sakic was the recipient of the 2007 NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community.