|Totals (all 1st half)||15||2||10||12||-6||6||2||0||0||0||46|
Midseason Grade: B
Final Grade: INC
Joined Team: Drafted 15th overall in the 1987 entry draft.
MHH Nicknames: Super Joe
- 2nd (13)
- 1st (1)
- 3rd (1)
- C (15)
- Wolski (13)
- McLeod (1)
- Smyth (1)
- Tucker (6)
- Jones (6)
- Hejduk (3)
- TOT 18:06 (16th)
- EV 12:24 (16th)
- PK :56 (11th)
- PP 4:46 (8th)
*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.
Best Month: October (10pts in 10 games)
Career Highlights: um, no.
Report: It's been almost 6 months since we saw Super Joe on the ice, making it kind of tough to do a proper evaluation. It's one of the main reasons I decided to implement a 20-game minimum for assigning letter grades this year (suck it, Galiardi).
Sakic no longer has the wheels and his much-ballyhooed snap shot has lost a lot of it's velocity and accuracy, but he's still an offensive force. In his last 45 games (including last year's playoffs), he has 40 points (10 goals and 30 assists). That's on pace for a 73-point season. Unfortunately, the bread around that 45 game-meat is two significant hernia injuries and, of course, the man isn't getting any younger.
As you know, he's got a spot on my team as long as he wants it. He was the best the Avalanche had in the faceoff circle (54.2%) and continues to play solid defense. I still don't like the fact that he's used on the point on the powerplay, but the Avs did have some success when they did the Umbrella thing (sliding Liles to the middle and having Sakic move up towards the side boards). This would be the point where I wonder why they went away from that, but writing about the Avs' powerplay too much causes my nervous tick to start up.
Fun Fact: Sakic's .80 points per game was the lowest of his career...and the highest on the team.
The Joe Sakic Drinking Game: Drink for every great moment Sakic has given us over his illustrious career Drunk potential: Death from alcohol poisoning.
What I Said Last Year: "I believe that Sakic can still play at a high level for another year (and perhaps a couple of years). I'm just not ready to my favorite player ride off into the sunset."
2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $6M ($6M)
2009-2010 Status: UFA
Outlook for 2009: I'm still not ready to see my favorite player ride off into the sunset. I freely admit an irrational longing to see Sakic play forever. But, you know what? I really think he's coming back. He can still play at a high level (a higher level than some people realize), and I don't think he wants a snow blower accident to be the finishing point of his career.
I should say, I think he wants to come back. The madcap front office hijinx over the last month, the team's abysmal record last year and the limited cap room might just be enough to push Joe away. It's not like he can go to another team at this point - it's either the Avs or nothing.
In the end, this may come down to money. By all accounts, he's an absolute gentleman on the ice and off, but that doesn't mean he'll play for free. He's never left a lot of money on the table in contract negotiations, and I don't expect him to do so here. It's great to hope that he'd re-up for $2 million to bridge the gap until Duchene arrives, but I don't see that happening. If he does come back, I think he'll be looking for something in the $3.5M to $4M range. Can the Avs afford that? Can they afford not to afford that?
My one humble request is that his decision comes earlier this year. I get that it's a tough decision, but if his mind isn't made up by July 1st (the start of free agency) it really hurts the team. And this team needs all the help it can get.
Next Up: Scott Hannan