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Sakic expected to announce retirement on Thursday

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TSN.ca Staff
7/7/2009 9:29:28 PM
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After 20 NHL seasons, Colorado Avalanche forward Joe Sakic may be ready to hang up his skates.

The Avalanche have called a news conference for Thursday at 3pm et/12pm pt, where according to local reports they will announce Sakic's retirement.

The Burnaby, B.C. native would leave the game as one of the most decorated athletes to ever take to the ice. Sakic hoisted two Stanley Cups, participated in 13 NHL All-Star games, and was named tournament MVP for Canada's gold medal winning team in the 2002 Olympics.

Sakic played his entire career for the Quebec/Colorado franchise, and served as their captain since 1992, after being drafted 15th overall by the Nordiques in the 1987 NHL Entry draft.

Heading into last off-season the Avalanche were unsure if Sakic was going to continue his career or opt to retire. In late August 2008, it was announced that he had signed a one-year contract with the club. Sakic played in only 15 games during the 2008-2009 season, due to injury, recording two goals and 10 assists.

As the year came to a close, he remained non-committal about retirement talk other than to say the decision would be made much quicker this year. Sakic kept his word, but retirement was not something that came easy to on-ice leader.

"This is what you've done you're whole life. Since I was six years old I've played hockey," Sakic explained at the end of the regular season. "I think when you get to that point, you have to decide first and foremost if you can do it at the level you want to play at, and secondly if you're willing to do what it takes off the ice to get that accomplished."

With the 2010 Olympics taking place in his Vancouver, some believed the veteran would lace up his skates for one more year in order to respresnt his country at the international level in his hometown.

"Obviously there are not too many people who get a chance to play in the Olympics in their hometown," he said. "That would be something special, but going into the summer you have to be realistic with yourself and health-wise and motivation-wise you have to be willing to do what it takes."

In 1,378 games, Sakic posted 625 goals and 1,016 assists for a total of 1,641 points, leaving him eighth on the NHL's all-time point leaders list.

Joe Sakic (Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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