Best Av (2002)

Joe Sakic

Is there something -- anything -- the Avalanche captain hasn't done for his club? With over fourteen years and more than 1,000 games as a Quebec Nordique and then a Colorado Av, center Joe Sakic has won a dozen individual NHL awards and two Stanley Cups (both here in Denver) while providing crucial leadership for young teammates. Hard-nosed yet graceful, the future hall-of-famer remains near the top of the league scoring charts this year, and his vicious left-handed shot continues to be a key weapon in the Avs' current run at a third Cup. And to think he nearly defected and became a New York Ranger four years ago. Just for grins, in February Sakic also led Team Canada to its first Olympic hockey gold medal in half a century.

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