(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
KUSA- A two year hiatus is all the newest Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations could take. Joe Sakic had to be back in the game, even if it just happened to be in the front office. And just another two years after becoming an adviser with the organization he moved into a major position of power.
"That's why I'm here," Sakic said. He needn't to explain further.
That reason was more than evident. Colorado finished with the worst record in the Western Conference, winning a mere 16 games and firing their head coach at season's end. Their attitude, their effort and their reign of being a dominant hockey team is long over. Sakic and company raised a pair of Stanley Cups, now that was merely a distant, but fond, memory.
The franchise Sakic played for his entire career, the Quebec Nordiques turned Colorado Avalanche when they moved to the Mile High City, was in trouble, and as his nickname as astute prescribes, "Super Joe" is coming back to the rescue.
"I didn't have any pressure the last couple of years, and obviously there is pressure coming with this title," said Sakic. "I'm ready for it and I really believe that together we achieve this. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The longtime Avalanche captain holds nearly every team mark imaginable. He's the franchise leader in games (1,378), goals (625) assists (1016) and overall points (1641), but it's his play in the direst of circumstances that has built his legendary status. When the Avalanche needed him most he undoubtedly delivered.
Sakic thrives on those tension filled moments; when the outcome is in question he is the most potent. His 86 game-winning goals, 19 of which came in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, showcase that fact.
He wants to be there when the game on the line. He wants to help his team do whatever it takes. He wants to, and will demand success. It doesn't matter if he is on the ice or in the owner's box, that's what he will do.
"I'm ready to take that next step and I'm excited about the opportunity," said Sakic, already setting expectations for the young group in Colorado. "We're here for one reason...It's for us to come back and compete for the Stanley Cup, year in and year out. We're looking forward to making those things possible."
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