Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sakic on the sidelines

After an incredible, 100-point season last year as a 37-year-old, Joe Sakic's been awfully quiet so far this year.

Burnaby Joe's been a remarkably durable performer in his later years, playing as many games as anyone since 2000-01, a six-season span over which he'd missed just 25 games prior to 2007-08.

At the moment, however, he's on the shelf with a groin injury, and it's apparently a bad one:
Finally, captain Joe Sakic skated Saturday, but he missed his eighth consecutive game and isn't making the trip with the team for games at Los Angeles on Monday and Anaheim on Wednesday.
The NHL's seen a rapid decline in a number of veterans' play this season, from Jaromir Jagr to Mark Recchi, and while Sakic had 22 points in 24 games, he was on pace for only 24 goals over a full campaign. Given his injury, it seems inevitable that he'll have his lowest goal output since the 48-game 1994-95 season.

Now, I don't know if the groin hurts are something that's been ongoing, but Sakic's logged a heckuva lot of miles. He's 38th overall in career games played (1,343), 14th in goals (617), 11th in assists (994) and eighth in points (1,611). His production has been incredible over the past few seasons, and with 209 points since the lockout, Sakic looked to be well on pace to catch Lemieux, Yzerman, Dionne and Francis in the all-time points parade.

Even Howe and Messier may have been looking over their shoulders.

Injuries, however, are going to be the thing to watch out for. He's not the biggest guy in the world, and still takes a few knocks in the corners, but as I said, has always been durable despite being a target. He's only on a one-year, $6.75-million contract with Colorado, the only franchise he's ever known, but it seems odd to speculate the end is near given he was sixth in NHL scoring last season.

Maybe he goes out on top?
Photo: Sharkspage

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At 12:17 a.m., December 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hockey player can't go on top. If Teemu Selanne now retires as a Stanley Cup champion is it the top or was it 76 goal and 137 point season?

Same with Burnaby Joe. He's had better seasons personally and couple of Stanley Cup seasons, too.

How about Olympic gold?

Now 22pts. in 24 games is still a good stuff so let him play until he doesn't want to anymore or nobody wants him anymore.

Best wishes,
Chris Chelios

At 9:08 a.m., December 17, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

With very rare exceptions, that require knowledge of a personal situation, or not quite as rare cases that involve injury risk, I do not second guess players' decisions about when they should retire. That is their call, and should be made by what they want to do. If you aren't risking a 14th concussion, keep playing if you want.

I respect the decision that you want to go out on top, and not go through a decline phase where you can't play as you as you can remember playing. At the same time, it's hard to argue with the Rickey Hendersons or Jeremy Roenicks of the world, who simply love the game so much that they are going to play as long as someone will put them on their roster.

At 3:20 p.m., December 17, 2007, Blogger Shane Giroux said...

Where'd you find that photo of Sakic? It looks like he woke up from a 3 day bender and realized he had a hockey game that night :)

At 12:54 p.m., December 19, 2007, Blogger NeuroJoe said...

I'm guessing that bouffant is slowing Sakic down. Jeebus Joe, get a haircut already.


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