Avalanche say hello to season by saying goodbye to Sakic | VailDaily.com

Avalanche say hello to season by saying goodbye to Sakic

Adrian Dater
The Denver Post
(tr)cdsign01: Corner of 19th St. and Market St: L to R- Jerry Whitney and Marty Lucero of Denver Public Works Traffic Engineering Services early this morning installed "Joe Sakic Way" street sign in celebration of Joe Sakic's career with the Colorado Avalanche. Photographed October 1, 2009. John Prieto, The Denver Post.

It will be quite the spectacle: Joe Sakic, accepting the retirement of his number 19 to the rafters, then skating with a lit torch and passing it to Matt Duchene. How’s that for symbolism?

No, that second part won’t actually happen. But in a symbolic sense it will, when the Avalanche honors its franchise icon before tonight’s season opener, then watches its 18-year-old center begin the enormous job of trying to fill Sakic’s skates.

The Avalanche begins the post-Sakic era at 8 p.m. against the defending NHL Presidents’ Trophy winner San Jose Sharks, preceded by ceremonies for the retired Avs captain starting at 6:45.

The Avs have invited all “vested” alumni – former Quebec/Colorado teammates with a minimum 80 games played – to attend the festivities. Former teammates such as Peter Forsberg and Mike Keane will be on hand, and it won’t shock anybody if a Patrick Roy or Ray Bourque makes an appearance, although the Avs wouldn’t disclose those expected to be on hand.

Avs defenseman Adam Foote will succeed Sakic as team captain, but as many or more eyes will be on Duchene to see how the youngster fares in his first NHL game.

For more of Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13458087

Support Local Journalism