Hey Joe! Where Ya Goin?: The Great Joe Sakic Caper
This just in: No one interested in veteran Joe Sakic for the upcoming NHL season.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
It's sad, but yes, it is also true; two time Stanley Cup Champion, Hart Trophy Winner, Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Olympic Gold Medalist and record setting playoff scorer Joe Sakic doesn't seem to be blowing up anyone's skirt these days. It is anyone's guess why, but I guess class acts like "Captain Canada" don't interest GM's around the league these days.
To be honest though, few people are actually aware that he's a free agent, including this writer who only found out a few weeks ago. In today's NHL there's plenty of room for a guy like Joe in any team's locker room. He's the perpetual leader: he does it by example and he does it better then anyone else except maybe Mark Messier.
This past year, his twentieth or so with the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise, he recorded his record setting 16th career Game-Winning-Goal in the playoffs. What does this mean? Essentially, he's now won two of his Stanley Cups' single-handedly
Who the hell wants that on their team though? Common I want the overpaid agitator from Dallas that seems to be better at causing a scene then helping his teammates.
There is still room for a celebrated veteran like Joe, and here are a number of teams who could use him:
Vancouver Canucks: For a team that has seemingly fell off the radar of late, this would be a huge boost for them especially if they could add Mats Sundin as well. Also, seeing as he's in the twilight of his career the asking price wont be that high either. Being from Burnaby doesn't hurt either; I'm a big fan of local boys.
Ottawa Senators: No doubt the nations capital could use a little dose of the guy that won the country the gold medal in 2001, then went on to capture the Cup the same year. Put him in a locker room with Alfredsson and Smith and you've got a leadership group that could bring the Sens to the promised land.
Atlanta Thrashers: With such a young roster, a vet like Joe would help with players like Kovalchuk and Williams. Not to mention he would make that one potent first line.
Detroit Red Wings: I only say this because I'd like to see him win one more championship before he retires. Coupled with the young players and the leadership corps of vets they have, it could very well allow Detroit to repeat as champs. Think his buddy Steve would let him wear his number 19 jersey?
Buffalo Sabres: While the Sabres dropped significantly from their President's Trophy success in '07, this could be the shot in the arm they need. Sakic would undoubtedly be wearing the "C" in Buffalo and help mold players like Derek Roy into more complete players.
So, Earth to NHL GM's: get off your butts and do something constructive for a change! As a hockey purist, to discard a guy like Joe is an insult to the game and its fans. Money doesn't always buy happiness - just ask the New York Rangers.
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