Today in Sports History: October 23

In 2008, former Canadian professional hockey player, Joe Sakic, scored his final career goal against the Edmonton Oilers. It was his 625th career goal in the National Hockey League. 

Sakic played with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche from 1988 until 2009. 

In 1,378 games played, Sakic scored 625 goals, had 1,016 assists, and 1,641 penalties. Sakic won two Stanley Cup Championships with the Avalanche and was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, and the NHL Foundation Player Award. He was also a 12x – All-Star and held the NHL record for career playoff overtime goals, with a record of eight goals.

While playing for the Avalanche, Sakic also played internationally with Team Canada, competing in the Olympic Games and World Cup tournaments. Sakic was part of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic games where he scored four goals and had three assists. Within six games, Sakic helped Canada win its first Olympic Gold Medal in men’s hockey in 50 years. 

Sakic represented Canada on five occasions such as the 1988 and 1991 IIHF World Junior Championship winning gold in 88 and silver in 91. In 1994 and 1996 Sakic won the IIHF World Championships winning gold in 94, and silver in 96. Lastly, in 2004, Sakic and Team Canada won the gold medal in the World Cup of Hockey. In those non-Olympic games, Sakic scored 34 points overall within 39 games.

At the time that Sakic retired, he was eighth on the NHL’s all-time point leaders, 14th in goals, and 11th in all-time assists. In 2012, Sakic was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after retiring in 2009 for his incredible career and statistics. His jersey number was retired through the Avalanche in the 2009-10 season opener. 

After his playing career, Sakic got involved with the executive side of the Avalanche where he became the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and continues to do so to this day. 

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