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Joe Sakic

Worth A Fortune

In the off-season of 1997, Sakic became a restricted free agent. He could entertain contract offers from other teams, but the Avalanche had the right to match any contract in order to keep him. In August the New York Rangers offered him a $21 million contract—$2 million per year for three years, with a $15 million signing bonus. A few days later, the Avalanche matched the offer, to the relief of Denver fans. Commenting on the generous contract, Sakic told a Denver Post writer, "I don't think I'm going to feel any more pressure than I have in the past.… I've always been one to put pressure on myself and do whatever I can to help the team win." Only one sore spot had come between Sakic and Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix: Sakic wanted a "no-trade" clause in his contract, providing him with a place on the team regardless of his success, but Lacroix did not believe in them.

In 1997, Sakic promised the team and the fans another Stanley Cup, but it was a few seasons in coming. The Avalanche came in sixth overall that year in regular play. Several members, including Sakic, had participated in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. In addition, a knee injury had kept Sakic out of eighteen games in the regular season that year. In the 1998-99 season, he was out several games with a shoulder injury, but he still scored a team-best forty-one goals in seventy-three games, and the team made the playoffs.

In 1999-2000, Sakic played only sixty games, but the team went to the playoffs and he was invited to his eighth All-Star game. The following season, 2000-2001, brought the long-promised second Stanley Cup for the Colorado Avalanche. Sakic scored 118 points during the season, with twelve game-winning goals out of a total of fifty-four. He scored twenty-six points against the New Jersey Devils in the final game of the playoffs, making him the NHL's top scorer. He showed his true team spirit when he briefly held the Stanley Cup up for the cameras then promptly handed it to retiring defenseman Ray Bourque, while applauding him.

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Famous Sports StarsHockeyJoe Sakic - Young Star, Tragedy At Swift Current, Colorado Avalanche, Chronology, Related Biography: Hockey Player Peter Forsberg - CONTACT INFORMATION