In this podcast, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and myself break down almost everything Avalanche that happened since our last show from Jiggy’s comments to Joe Sacco being fired. Thanks for joining us Avalanche fans and thank you as well for another fantastic season of The AHP. We truly appreciate your support!
In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I break down the nine Avalanche games since our last show, we’ll cover the moves the Avs made at the trade deadline, and we’ll tell you why firing Joe Sacco may not be the solution to all of the problems the Avs currently have. Those topics and plenty more Avalanche and NHL stuff in episode #79 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.
Hang in there fans. We know this season hasn’t been easy to watch, but we definitely try and make the show easy to listen to.
March 27, 2013. Patrick Bordeleau and Brian McGrattan agree to punch each other in the face numerous times. OUCH.
March 27, 2013. Flames/Avs post game. Kyle Keefe and Mark Rycroft, take it away. #PenisMcNab
Please support my friends at the Third String Goalie blog. They just featured one of my jerseys in a blog post. Check it out the post and the site here.
In this show James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I break down the past 12 games since our last podcast, we discuss the return of Ryan O’Reilly to the Avalanche lineup, we explain why blaming officials doesn’t solve your issues, and we share our thoughts on the NHL realignment. Those topics and much more Avalanche and hockey stuff coming at you in episode #78 of The AHP. Thanks for your support Avs fans!
Game worn jerseys are generally expensive. This is definitely not breaking news or anything. I have my limit on what I’ll spend on them. I’m not one of those people that will ruin my credit or skip a mortgage payment to buy a jersey for my collection. This limits my options at times and that’s okay. More money for more jerseys is always a good thing.
With that said, I have spent pretty good amounts of money on some pretty sweet jerseys in the past (if I don’t say so myself.) For example, there’s this Joe Sakic game-issued jersey (with plenty more details here):
There’s these Peter Forsberg game-issued jerseys (with plenty more details here and here):
There’s this Peter Forsberg game worn and photomatched jersey which was worn in one game in 2004. Plenty more details here.
And last, but definitely not least because it’s most relevant to this post, Ryan O’Byrne’s game worn Peter Forsberg retirement night jersey. More details here.
The jerseys above were not cheap by any means. In order to have nice jerseys in the collection it’s essential that money is spent. On the other hand though, there are some ways around this. It involves some creativity, some patience, and some strategy, but it’s definitely possible to create a model of the same jersey that a player wore on the ice for a fraction of the cost. One of the newest jerseys in my collection is an example of this. Check it out:
The jersey above is modeled after the jersey that Gabriel Landeskog wore during his first game in the NHL. Landeskog began his Calder Trophy campaign on October 8, 2011 at Pepsi Center against the Detroit Red Wings. The The Ryan O’Byrne jersey pictured above was the actual jersey O’Byrne wore during the actual game (details to come.) The game worn Landeskog from that same game went for $3,521. That price was obviously a little much for me, but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t create something just like the game worn Landeskog for my collection. Here are the steps I took in order to make that happen.
Step One: Get a Peter Forsberg night patch.
These patches were on sale at Altitude Authentics (the retail store at Pepsi Center) during and after Peter Forsberg night. No problem. I got three so I still have two that are waiting for jerseys to go on.
Step Two: Get a jersey to put the patch on. Blank 2011-2012 jerseys in the same style the players wear on the ice are no easy find. They aren’t sold at retail and don’t show up on eBay really ever. The game-style jerseys on NHL.com aren’t very close to what the players actually wear on the ice. I like the real thing, so I have to work a little harder to make jerseys happen.
Small aside, and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the neck tagging on the 2010-2011 jerseys was different than on the 2011-2012 (and current) jerseys.
The back of the neck on the 2010-2011 jerseys looked like this:
While the back of the neck on the 2011-2012 (and current) jerseys look like this:
I pay attention to the small details on jerseys and I want every detail on the jerseys in my collection to be correct. This is one of those small details.
In late spring of 2012 my friends at The MeiGray Group began listing a game issued jerseys from earlier in the season. Included in these game-issues were a couple of Patrick Rissmiller jerseys. (The other Rissmiller jersey I purchased was a blue alternate that I also had made into a Landeskog.) To my advantage, Rissmiller is a big guy. He wore a size 58+ jersey. That’s the size jersey I like to wear to games. Rissmiller wasn’t signed to a contract in Lake Erie during the 2012-2013 lockout so I went ahead and made the decision to purchase the jerseys and have their nameplates and numbers stripped off of them. If Rissmiller was still in Lake Erie, in other words, if he ever had any chance of ever playing for the Colorado Avalanche, stripping the jerseys would not have been an option.
Step Three: Get the patch and the blank jersey to Denver Athletic so they can put the patch, “Landeskog”, and “92″ on the jersey. Denver Athletic letters the jerseys the Avalanche wear on the ice so that’s obviously a no-brainer.
Those three steps took a while from start to finish, but the finished product is beautiful and is definitely ready to be worn to a game at Pepsi Center. And after doing all the math, I paid less than 5% of what the game worn jersey went for at auction to make the jersey myself. Not bad at all.
Sometimes the jersey game is about having money available at the right time. Sometimes it’s seeing an auction that others have overlooked. Sometimes it’s about being patient and taking your time for the entire process to run its course. The patience and time it took to get through the process of making my Landeskog rookie debut jersey is one of the things that helps me feel really good about having this jersey hanging in my closet.
As a fan, there are things that I prefer to see from my favorite team and there are things that I don’t prefer to see. Throughout this post I will talk about both. Let’s also just assume that I’ve seen enough of what I’d rather not see lately to make a blog post.
The play leading to Corey Perry’s first goal of the game was controversial. Take a look.
On his way (with the emphasis on “on his way”) to defend a crossing pass or a shot, Greg Zanon’s stick was knocked out of his hand by Corey Perry, who then obviously ended up with plenty of room to score the goal. The non-call? I get it. There’s no doubt that this could have been called a slash or an interference, but there are also a few different things that could have happened on the play as well.
It’s clear to see that Greg Zanon was not in the best of positions to defend this play. He gets in “scramble mode” pretty quickly after he loses track of Ryan Getzlaf while also underestimating how quickly Getzlaf was moving. As a defenseman, offensive players behind you is not a good thing at all. I’m no hockey coach or hockey expert, but in my opinion, while in scramble mode, Greg Zanon’s stick is not quite where it should or could be. I think we’d all like his stick in the potential passing lane rather than dragging behind him. Corey Perry saw an opportunity and took it. He gambled and got away with it. I can’t blame him.
What I’m definitely not interested in is the reaction by the Avalanche players on the ice. I get why they reacted that way, but I’m not interested in seeing it. Simply, the Avalanche players on the ice were flat beaten on the play. There’s no doubt about that, but Zanon reacting to the official before the play was over and Matt Duchene’s and P.A. Parenteau’s hands going up in the air after Perry scored didn’t look too good on them either. Watch the replay one more time and focus on the middle of the screen. Notice how quickly the Ducks are moving forward and how slowly, in contrast, the Avs players are back checking. I’m really not sure what Stefan Elliott was doing on this play at all. In my humble opinion, the official’s job becomes way simpler when defensive players are where they’re supposed to be. The Avalanche players weren’t where they needed to be on this play and we have video to prove it.
Situation number two: I don’t have video for this play, but Cody McLeod was taken out along the end boards behind the Ducks goal without touching the puck during this game. It looked as though he was losing an edge at the time, but the Ducks defenseman rode him pretty hard into the boards as well. It was a dangerous play that could have been called interference or boarding, but there was no call.
What I was interested in seeing was Gabriel Landeskog making a beeline to the nearest referee after a stoppage in play during his next shift. He did it respectfully as to not show the official up. That’s what captain’s do. I’m interested in seeing that as a fan, and I know the officials appreciate this approach while asking about a call or non-call.
Situation number three: Fast forward to overtime. Ryan O’Byrne is called for a hook that gives the Ducks a powerplay that eventually ends the game. The Avalanche don’t agree with the call. Again, no video but we all saw the play. Ryan O’Byrne had been beaten to the front of the net by the Duck forward. Hooking, or something that looked very much like hooking, was all he could do to prevent an uncontested scoring change by the opponent. Again, bad defensive positioning putting the official in a powerful position. The Ducks score quickly on the four-on-three power play. P.A. Parenteau gets a game misconduct after the final whistle as well. He wasn’t even on the ice for the game-ending goal. I’m not sure what he said to the officials, but we can all be sure it was not very nice.
Let’s look at the big picture here. The Avs blew two leads during this game, 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 in the second period. They also gave up three power play goals in this game. The Avs led the game in shots after the first period 11-6. They were then out-shot 33-12 during the second, third, and overtime periods combined. The Avs had one shot during the entire third period. One. And that lone shot happened less than 20 seconds into the period. In fact, the Avs had two shots on goal in the final 24 minutes and 14 minutes of play. That’s not a pretty picture.
The next morning, The Denver Post’s Terry Frei also chimed in on Twitter. I definitely agreed with what he had to say. (Start at the bottom.)
What I, as a fan, am interested in watching is a team that gives itself a chance to win by playing their tails off every game.
I’m interested in watching a team that doesn’t have to make excuses for losses because they’re too busy working hard to make excuses.
I’m interested in watching a team that takes questionable calls and non-calls and does their best to somehow use them as momentum.
I’m interested in watching a team that is in good defensive position so the officials don’t have the option of making a call that has the potential to be classified as “borderline.”
I’m interested in watching a team that acts like winners on the ice.
My team doesn’t need to get at least one point in every game (like the Blackhawks), but a team with a winning attitude will be successful more often than not, even in defeat.
I’m interested in cheering for a winner. We all are.
In our podcast and on Twitter I try to not preach about too much, but I do preach about two things when it’s a relevant time to mention them. One, officials don’t win or lose games, the players do. If the officials get any part of the blame for a loss they have to get some credit for a victory and that’s never going to happen. The other thing I preach about is that the bad calls and the good calls evening themselves out over the course of a season. This game, and how the Avalanche responded to it, made me want to add just a little detail onto my original statement; the bad calls and the good calls even themselves over the course of a season if you work hard enough.
Hey Avs, in my opinion, it’s time to work just a little bit harder. Let’s go.
In this podcast, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I break down the eight games since our last show, we celebrate Milan Hejduk’s 1000th game as a Av, we discuss bad bounces and glorious non-calls, who is tough, and a whole lot more. Thanks for joining us Avalanche fans.
Links and resources:
Milan Hejduk goes swimming:
The Avalanche’s tribute to Milan Hejduk’s 1000th game with the organization. Way to go 23:
(In case you missed the first part of this two-part series please check out the original post here.)
Let’s begin this post with this image. I think it sets the mood quite well.
It look just a little longer than Denver Athletic had originally promised, but that’s okay, their work is always worth the wait. The jerseys are in and they look beautiful. The delay was from a few Colorado Avalanche and Denver Cutthroat roster moves that led to some rush orders for jerseys for the teams. When it comes to customers I know the pros are always going to have priority. It’s just one of the realities of dealing with a big-time lettering company who deals with big-time customers.
So without further ado here are the pictures and a little information behind each jersey I had made in this order. Let’s begin with the two jerseys that needed the most attention to become what that are now.
2012 Gabriel Landeskog NHL debut jersey. First, the blank version of the jersey that’s currently worn on the ice by the players is pretty much impossible to get on eBay, NHL.com, MeiGray or anywhere else. Next, the “21″ patch was worn in one game only, opening night of the 2012-2013 season. I purchased three of the Peter Forsberg night patches close to opening night last season. One sure fire way to know that a jersey sickness exists is to buy the patches for jerseys that haven’t been acquired yet. Those of you that know my collection well will be beyond shocked to know that I have put the patch before the jersey many, many times. My solution? I bought two Patrick Rissmiller game issued jerseys from MeiGray a few months ago, had the name plates and numbers stripped off the jerseys, and had Denver Athletic make the newly blank jerseys into the Landeskogs you see below. I swore, at one time, that I would never do this to game worn or game issued jerseys, but when it’s time to get a Landeskog (like when he’s named captain of your favorite NHL team) or two in the collection it’s time to get a Landeskog or two in the collection by any means necessary. We’ll just call this mission accomplished.
2013 Gabriel Landeskog Blue Alternate. Don’t mind the spots on the image of the front of this jersey. That’s just my brilliant photography skills. He’ll debut this jersey (wearing the Captain’s “C”) at some point when he returns from his recent injuries.
2005-2006 Rob Blake Burgundy Alternate. This finishes off the players in my collection that wore the Captain’s “C” and the Alternate Captain’s “A”s for that season. (The other players, in case you were wondering, were Joe Sakic and Ian Laperriere.) I love the way the two details look next to each other on the upper left chest.
2006-2007 Paul Stastny Burgundy Alternate. He wore this number on the alternate in one game (October 14, 2006) before he switched to his current 26. If I have a reason to make a jersey I make a jersey. I love jerseys with stories. This jersey has a great story behind it.
2001 Milan Hejduk Stanley Cup Jersey. Hejduk represents one of the two players from that championship team that are still playing in the NHL. (The other is Calgary’s Alex Tanguay.) 1000+ games with the Avalanche and one of my favorite Avalanche players of all time. This will look great hanging next to the many other Hejduk jerseys I already have in my collection.
2000-2001 Rob Blake White. I purchased the blank jersey with the 2001 All-Star patch already applied. The patch is about an inch or two too close to the piping in the right side of the chest. I’m still trying to decide whether that patch placement bothers me enough to have it removed and replaced in its proper position. In the jersey game, as in sports and in life as well, inches count. We’ll see. I’m leaving it where it is for now.
2000-2001 Chris Drury Burgundy. Chris Drury was clutch. He scored some huge goals wearing this style jersey during the 2001 Stanley Cup run. You can never go wrong with Chris Drury jerseys. Just ask any veteran Avs fan.
And last, but definitely not least, a 2001 Shjon Podein Burgundy Stanley Cup Jersey. I have a white version of this jersey in my collection already and it was lonely. What can I say? I strive to keep my jerseys happy and satisfied.
So there you have it from beginning to end. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end when your jerseys look like this. If you have any questions or I can help you in any way just be in touch: Leave a comment here, send me a message or create a post on The AHP Facebook page, or contact me on Twitter at @AvsHkyPodcast.
In this podcast, James “Tapeleg” Gralian from “The Rink Podcast” and I break down the first eight games of the 2013 season, we read yet another “apology” letter, we discuss Brad Stuart’s contraversial hit on Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and we also give our thoughts on why taking a puck off the face isn’t always a bad thing. Those topics and a lot more Avalanche stuff in episode number 76 of The Avs Hockey Podcast. Thanks for the listen Avs fans!
I began to make a Facebook post regarding my thoughts about yesterday afternoon’s disasterwhoopinghockey game in San Jose, but quickly realized I what I wanted to say would be more appropriate in a blog post. So here goes.
There was a turning point to yesterday afternoon’s contest and every Avalanche and Shark fan knows when it was. The hit itself? It was in that gray area where everyone is going to be upset about whatever happens to Stuart.
The first point of contact was definitely the head. Avalanche and Shark fans can agree on that point. We are all very much aware that the NHL doesn’t like that kind of hit. Also, Brad Stuart didn’t lead with his elbow and that’s good.
Past that, as I said before, fans of either team are going to be sad and angry at whatever is decided about Stuart’s pocketbook/near future.
Depending on which angle is/was available for your viewing pleasure, Stuart started the hit low and ended high. Those hits can get ugly.
Also, as Stuart followed through on the hit he left his feet. Did he jump? Not really, so it couldn’t be classified as a charge. But both feet definitely were off the ice at one point during the action of the collision.
Stuart was also not penalized for the hit.
Gabriel Landeskog returned to the game during the second period after being evaluated in the locker room. If he hadn’t returned and was going to be out for a while I’d put my money on Stuart getting at least a few games. But Since Landy is seemingly going to miss no time, I’m prepared for pretty much anything the league decides to dish out, including nothing. I’ve found it simpler to not expect much from the ShanaBan. It’s just simpler.
Overall, I’m simply relieved that Gabriel Landeskog looked like he was alright for the rest of the game. Avs fans know my feeling well. The Avs can’t afford to lose someone like 92 for an extended period of time.
The Aftermath and the Lappy Factor…
Ryan O’Byrne made it clear that hits on the young Avalanche captain would not be tolerated. Sometimes this happens in hockey, but don’t tell the Sharks television announcers that. (I’m sure their thoughts would have been different is it was Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau who was on the receiving end of a similar hit from Ryan Wilson. But I digress.) Does Ryan O’Byrne make anyone nervous because of his toughness? I like Cody McLeod, but has it ever been his role to be somewhat of an enforcer? Patrick Bordeleau is listed a 6’6″, 225 pounds, but is anyone not going to think twice about taking liberties with any Avalanche player as a result of a large rookie in his first few games in the NHL? This game, and a handful of Avs games during the past few seasons, needed some Lappy.
This is a concern I’ve had ever since Ian Laperriere departed the Avalanche for the Flyers. Granted, Lappy was one of the best in the business at things like this, I’m beginning to get a little nervous that the Avalanche are considered a “soft” team because that’s how I have seen them be treated over the past few seasons. Opposing forwards have hacked on Avalanche goaltenders with not much or enough consequence. During the 2013 home opener, and a good two or three seconds after the whistle, Drew Doughty shot the puck into an unattended Avalanche net. For those of you that know hockey at pretty much any level, this is a definite unwritten no-no that gets addressed especially that long after the whistle. It’s more about respect than anything. The Avalanche players on the ice barely even looked at Doughty twice. I don’t want or need fights or thugs in every game, but accountability is a must in this and every sport.
The Avalanche, and every NHL team, has their fair share of players that simply won’t fight or get in people’s faces. Guys like Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene (with one fight in his three plus NHL seasons), Mark Olver, Chuck Kobasew, and David Jones (although I believe he has one NHL fight and one NHL “fight” on his resume) are examples of players like this. And believe me, I don’t have a problem with players in this category. My worry though is that the Avalanche have a few too many of these guys, especially after losing Steve Downie for the season to a knee injury early last week. This team is young, but young doesn’t have to equal soft.
The remainder of yesterday’s game after the hit bothered me. And believe me, I didn’t need a bloodbath. They aren’t cool. Besides, Avalanche fans are especially sensitive to bloodbaths. The Avalanche had a choice though after the hit on one of their franchise players of the future and, in my opinion, they ended up laying down. The Sharks are hot, there is no doubt about that, but the Avalanche also showed what they were made of yesterday. It wasn’t much. Sure, this was only one game, but I’ve noticed this trend for a little while now.
One other question was could Shane O’Brien have helped the Avalanche’s cause yesterday afternoon in San Jose? My guess is yes, but for various reasons he has been a healthy scratch for the first four games of the season. I can imagine yesterday’s happenings served as motivation for O’Brien and I’m hoping he’ll be back on the ice for the Avalanche shortly. He has contributed positive things to this team since he has been in Denver.
Joe Sacco likes to bring up two things on a consistent basis to the media. One is “starting the game on time.” The other is being a team that is “tough to play against.” I’m having a difficult time deciding whether “tough” means scoring more goals than the opposition or actually being “tough.” I’m looking for some more of the latter from this season’s team.
In this podcast, James “Tapeleg” Gralian from “The Rink Podcast” and I discuss the end of the NHL lockout, whether one young Avs stud is locked out or on strike, and we’ll preview the 2013 Colorado Avalanche squad. Those topics and a whole lot more Colorado Avalanche stuff coming at you in episode #75 of The Avs Hockey Podcast. Thanks, as always, for joining us Avalanche fans and welcome to the 2013 season.
The little details. That’s what jerseys are all about. Having an eye for and caring about the little details separates the strong from the weak in the jersey collecting game. This applies in life as well, but that’s for another post on another blog for a different time. I appreciate small jersey details and those of you that know me know that I love my jerseys. My collection somewhat speaks for itself, but I also thought I would share a little bit about the process that I go through to get my jerseys looking the way they do. Sure, someone can always go to my friends at Meigray and buy game worn jersey after game worn jersey, but buying Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Patrick Roy game worn jerseys can cost something well beyond a pretty penny. Why not find blank jerseys and get them lettered? They cost a fraction of the price and you can still, at least most of the time, get the quality of jersey the players wear/wore on the ice. Do I have your attention? Want to know more? We’re going to get along just fine. Thanks for being here.
Step one, find legitimate jerseys from legitimate sellers. I hate to say what not to do so early in this post, but do NOT buy fake jerseys. No one likes fake jerseys except your bank account. In general, you will get what you pay for. If a deal seems too good to be true, it is. Do your homework and deal with sellers that have a good reputation. eBay is my main source. This is the toughest part of the process, especially with older styles or the style that’s worn on the ice right now. They are pretty rare. You will have to wade through a lot of fake jerseys. Patience is definitely a key. Good jerseys will show up eventually though.
Step two, do some serious research about your blank jersey. Know of some reputable places where you can go to find pictures of players in the jersey you have. Even better, find images of a game worn jersey that has been up for auction at one point in time. Getty Images (searching by a particular year and/or particular player helps narrow the field quickly), gamewornauctions.net, and Classic Auctions are the big three that I use, but there are many smaller other options out there. Google images helps as well. Make something like this to send along with your jersey to the place that customizes your jerseys.
Again, the details. Nameplate or not? What material is the nameplate? Does your customizer carry the material needed for the nameplate? Buy a blank replica or a hopeless old authentic made with the same material if needed. Sometimes something like this has to happen to make a new jersey look the way it should and that’s okay. How are the numbers cut? Did the player wear an alternate captain’s “A” or a captain’s “C” in this style jersey? Adding a patch or two? Do the research and find legitimate patches from legitimate sellers as well. This is the same challenge as the jersey situation above.
The images in the example above are pictures of game worn Rob Blake jerseys that were auctioned off at one time or another. Sometimes I simply include images of jerseys already in my collection like here:
With a sickness passion like mine having different versions of the same jersey in the collection with only the patch being different on each jersey is a fairly common thing. The 2000-2001 Colorado Avalanche season was fun in the fact there were two versions of every jersey worn. That’s jersey heaven right there.
And for one more example, the best that can be done at times is finding images of the style jersey in game action.
Basically, anything that you can do detail-wise to help the customizer isn’t going to hurt and a little more detail rather than less is always the side to miss on.
Next, find some patches (if needed.) And no, it’s not okay to put patches on jerseys that don’t need to be there. Be historically accurate and do things right.
Then, prepare the patches. Patches produced by National Emblem have a hard plastic backing on them to keep them from being placed on jerseys. National Emblem also makes the best patches around. So take the plastic backing off of the patches and get them ready to be placed where they were meant to be, on jerseys.
These are ready to go:
The next step in my process includes laying the jerseys and patches in the order out to double-check that all is accurate and I have absolutely everything I need.
Once everything looks good the patches are placed in baggies so they’re less likely to get lost, the jerseys are folded up carefully (make sure to not put a hard crease through the crest as they can be almost impossible to get out), and then each jersey (and baggie if needed) is put into its own larger bag.
The jersey bags are stacked in a tote so I can carry them all easily.
The lid is perfect to keep the elements out and the jerseys clean and dry.
Then we’re ready to make the trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Denver Athletic. You probably don’t have the luxury of being able to drive to the place that letters your favorite NHL team’s jerseys, that’s just a special perk of living in Denver and loving Avalanche jerseys the way that I do. I definitely don’t ever take this opportunity for granted.
Besides finding the jerseys the waiting is now the hardest part. My friends at DA do phenomenal work, so the waiting is always well worth it.
Stay tuned for an update post coming at you in a few short weeks…hopefully.
Have questions? Need more details? Let me know. Comment here, “like” The AHP Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and send me a message there or email me at avalanchepodcast at Comcast dot net. I’m always happy to help you in any way that I can because getting jerseys done right is obviously a huge passion of mine. Be in touch. I would love to hear from you.
I have been a sports fan for my entire life. Some of my favorite athletes throughout the years have included, but definitely aren’t limited to: Earl Campbell, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Tony Dorsett, Alex English, Fat Lever, Gary Carter, Joe Girardi, Walt Weiss, John Elway, Rod Smith, Terrell Davis, and the list goes on and on.
Let’s make one thing painfully clear though, I have never cheered and rooted harder for anyone more than I have for Joe Sakic. It’s actually not even close.
One interesting thing though, I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly why I respect Joe Sakic as much as I do. This post is my chance to do just that.
It wasn’t necessarily his then record-setting performance in 1996 playoffs:
It wasn’t his league MVP performance during the 2000-2001 regular season that eventually led to one of the absolute coolest moments in sports history:
It was about some of this:
And this too:
It was the fact that no one, not even a Detroit Red Wing, has ever said anything bad about the guy. That’s something that just doesn’t happen in sports near often enough.
It was meeting him on the driving range of my Dad’s golf club many years ago. It was me walking up to him, introducing myself, and trying to awkwardly put into words how big of a fan I was of his. It was him then offering a handshake in the middle of my awkwardness and saying, “Hi, I’m Joe Sakic.”
It was Joe being clutch.
It was undeniable class.
It was earning the utmost respect from his teammates as well as his opponents along the way.
It was Avalanche foes who dreaded playing against Sakic and his teams for all of the right reasons.
It was Sakic being known in the local media as “Quoteless Joe.” It was letting his game say everything that needed to be said and a so much more.
It was amazing ability and talent.
It was playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.
It was the complete package that is Joe Sakic. An absolutely amazing hockey player and an even better person.
It was Joe staying behind at Children’s Hospital, after all of his teammates had left on their team bus during one of their unannounced holiday visits, to spend time with a family that appreciated and needed the boost that number 19 brought to their day. Joe eventually took a cab back to where the team originally left. (My Mom used to work at Children’s hospital. These are the stories that never make the news.)
It’s the huge amounts of money Joe donates to The Food Bank of the Rockies on one condition: no one gives him credit for it.
It’s my closet full of Sakic jerseys, 21 (as of right now) to be exact. Don’t believe me? Check this out.
It’s literally hundreds of Joe Sakic cards in my hockey card collection.
It’s knowing that when you tell someone that you’re a Joe Sakic fan that you’re never, ever going to get a snarky comment back.
It was quite simply…everything. (After I wrote this I added up how many things I listed and it was 19. Go figure.)
The cliche in times like this is, “There will never be another Joe Sakic.” Sometimes that term is just a little overused, but in this case, and I don’t care who you talk to, it’s the absolute truth.
So thank you Joe Sakic for making me the hockey and sports fan that I am today. I’m positive I wouldn’t love the game near as much as I do without watching number 19 in the burgundy and blue for as long as I did. There’s nothing left to say but congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction. Enshrined with all of the other all-time hockey greats is exactly where you belong.
Colorado Avalanche hockey isn’t the same, and will never be the same, without you.
Welcome to the Avs Hockey Podcast, your home for almost everything Avalanche! I am your host Jay Vean. I am always joined by my co-host, James "Tapeleg" Gralian from "The Rink Podcast."
By the way, we are in no way associated and/or affiliated with, or approved by or supported by the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. or the National Hockey League. We're podcasters simply trying to keep passionate Avalanche and hockey fans (who don’t get to watch them in person or on television every game, like we do) well-informed and somewhat entertained. We also make absolutely no money producing this podcast. We make the show because we have a little time on our hands, access to podcasting tools, and a passion for the sport and our hometown team. Let’s Go Avs!