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Where will Avalanche’s Joe Sakic rank among elite?

Adrian Dater
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado
Denver Post file photoJoe Sakic playoff stats put him in elite NHL company
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Reading a roll call of hockey’s greatest forwards usually goes something like this: Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Phil Esposito . . . then one big contentious debate.

Where Joe Sakic ranks among the great all-time NHL forwards no doubt will make for spirited future barroom discussions. At 1 p.m. today, on the ninth day of the month, No. 19 of the Avalanche will start his retirement, and the debate can begin.

Comparing players from different eras and positions is tough, but Sakic played in the NHL so long – 20 years – that many believe he should be considered among the 10 best forwards to wear skates.

“I think he’s right at the top of the heap. Because when you’re as good as he was for that long a period of time, that’s amazing,” Columbus Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I can’t even remember the growth part (of his career). I remember he was really good right away in Quebec.”

Sakic ranks among the top 10 all-time in several key statistical areas, including eighth in points (1,681). When it comes to playoff statistics, Sakic lands in elite company.

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_12790016


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