In the movie “Dead Poets Society,” a poem by Walt Whitman is read entitled, “O Captain! My Captain!”
1996 marked a year that I was in elementary school, close to moving into middle school. It was a time where I began getting acquainted with the Colorado Avalanche, formerly the Quebec Nordiques.
The first year would turn out to be one of the best for the Avs, bringing them the Stanley Cup. The man of the team? Patrick Roy, arguably one of the best goaltenders since Vladislav Tretiak.
In 2001 the Avs would go on to win the Stanley Cup again, this time a new name arose for the team: Raymond Bourque, formerly the longest serving captain of the Boston Bruins. This would mark the first occasion that a player who was not the cpatain would take the first victory lap. It wasn’t just a year for Ray Bourque, it was the year for him.
Peter Forsberg was yet another player on the roster of the Avs; another play who would take the spotlight as one of the teams best, possibly one of the best in the NHL. Back then, if you had asked any person who the best player on the Avs was, Peter Forsberg would’ve been their answer.
I used to be infatuated with hockey; there was something about a man with missing teeth and ice skates that was irresistible. While I’ve developed a love for baseball, hockey has been stuck on the back burner of my brain.
Like hockey and my brain, Joe Sakic was often stuck on the back burner of the minds of Avalanche fans. He was like the quiet observer of the team who was always able to pull off an amazing play. He’s played with the Nordiques/Avalanche since 1988, and today, we say goodbye to our captain.
Sakic led us to two Stanley Cups and was, without a doubt, one of the best the Avalanche had ever encountered. We were lucky to have a captain like him, and although my infatuation with hockey is on the back burner, I will always have a place in my heart for Joe Sakic.