North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

The Last Nordique

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The rain was pouring down this morning, waking me up at some ungodly morning hour and making my window take the appearance of frosted glass. And as I awoke, cursing the foul elements that had awaken me, I listened to the ESPN Radio previews of the new NHL season – in particular the preview for the Avalanche. And it reminded me about one of the last of the greats; the last Nordique.

Since 1996, when the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver to begin anew, many of the players have moved on; wither because they retired, were traded away or just signed to another team the former Nordiques moved on (Adam Deadmarsh, Peter Forsberg, , slowly but surely. And while many of the players from the second glory days of the Nordiques (the first being the mid 1980’s) are still playing, none are playing for the Nordiques/Avalanche – except one: Joe Sakic.

In an age where players can change teams almost on a whim, Joe Sakic is a rarity. He has played his entire career (16 seasons) for the same team. With the rise of free agency and salary caps, it’s almost unheard of to play for the same team for more then 10 years; even Ray Bourque eventually left the Bruins. For a player to stay with a team for as long as Sakic has, and most likely will, is a product of special circumstances. Mario Lemieux is part of the management for the Penguins, for example. Joe Sakic, on the other hand, has no such business; instead, he’s the spiritual backbone of a team that not only is a proven winner, but a consistent threat.

The Avalanche are one of the last great dynasties in pro sports (their only rival would be the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Braves). Every year they make it to the playoffs and every year they they put the best teams (Detroit, Dallas, Anaheim, Calgary) in the league to the test.

So, will Joe Sakic remain the Last Nordique? Only he knows for sure… but he is not only the best man for the job, he’s the only one who can do it. And who knows, he may even end up coaching them in a few years.


Written by M.

October 3, 2005 at 4:40 am

Posted in Hockey, nhl

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. […] hockey, Joe Sakic, nhl, Quebec Nordiques With the retirement of Joe Sakic today, I felt that reposting this was prudent. It’s a 2005 post about Sakic, back when my prose was a lot more Hunter-informed […]

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