With so much talk about the possibility of Swedish great Mats Sundin mulling a transition to the Rangers, 13-time All-Star Joe Sakic has quietly been keeping under the radar.
Sakic played the fewest amount of games so far in his career last year, when he managed 40 points in only 44 games played. He missed the rest of the season because of a sports hernia.
It is unsure if Sakic will play in his 20th NHL season.
He has already compiled a Hall of Fame resumé, with 623 goals and 1006 assists. The former 15th-overall pick has numerous awards to his name as well—including two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, and a Hart Memorial Trophy, among others.
Sakic began his career with the Quebec Nordiques, and when they moved to Colorado, he moved with them. He has never been with another franchise.
In 1997, the Rangers attempted to sign the then-free agent to a three-year, $21-million offer.
Colorado matched the Rangers' offer, and Sakic remained with the Avalanche.
There are a few big reasons why Sakic may not sign with an NHL team. His shortened season last year may point an arrow towards retirement.
If he does call it quits, he will be among the few sports figures that have played their entire career with one franchise—an honorable feat. And would any club even consider signing an aging, 39-year-old center?
The question remains: If Sakic chooses not to retire, will the Rangers go out and try to sign him?
After an injury-plagued season last year, he may come at a cheaper price than Sundin. It seems that signing Sundin would cost popular mobile defenseman Michal Rozsival. If Sundin 'falls through,' would the Rangers pursue Sakic?
Sakic's 2006-2007 season consisted of an even 100 points.
He is a natural center, and the Rangers are very solid through the middle, with Drury, Gomez, and Dubinsky. Who would move to the wing? And would Sakic even entertain an offer from the Rangers, as he did over a decade ago?
Only time will tell.