Joe Sakic was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Nov. 12. Below is the full transcript of his speech.
"First off, I’d just like to thank Kelly Masse for everything you’ve done for us this weekend. We’ve just had a tremendous time, my family and I.
I’d also like to congratulate Adam (Oates), Pavel (Bure) and Mats (Sundin) for their outstanding careers. It’s truly an honor being inducted with all of you. Especially Mats, we spent our early years together in Quebec. It’s an amazing feeling that we’re both here tonight. I’ve very proud of that, Mats.
To Bill Hay, Pat Quinn, Jim Gregory and the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee. I truly can’t thank you enough for inducting me. It is such a privilege to be a part of this prestigious group and amongst all the icons that have made this game what it is today. It is truly the best game in the world and I feel so privileged that I was able to play it.
As a kid, like all of us, you just hope to make the National Hockey League and just hoping to play one game. And today I stand here. I feel very blessed. I had the chance to play 20 years, I played on some great teams, got to lift the Stanley Cup twice, and also had the privilege of playing for my country and winning the gold medal in Salt Lake.
But with all that said, there is absolutely no better honor for me than being inducted here into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. This is a night that my family and I will never forget.
And I have a lot of people to thank that helped me get here.
First, Marcel Aubut and the Quebec Nordiques organization. Maurice Filion, Martin Madden, all the scouts for drafting me. You guys believed in me and most importantly gave me that opportunity to live out my childhood dream. It’s something I’ll never forget.
And to great veterans like Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, Guy Lafleur… you guys were great role models for me and each of you taught me how to prepare and to become a better pro. It’s something I always remembered throughout my career.
To the Colorado Avalanche organization… starting with Charlie Lyons who moved us to such a great city. And to Stan Kroenke. Thank you guys for your commitment to our team.
And also the front office staff and all the PR staff. Especially Jean Martineau, you’ve been with me my entire career, right from when I got drafted, till now you’re here with me again tonight. I really appreciate your support and your friendship as well.
Pierre Lacroix. Pierre, you brought a winning culture to our organization when we needed it most. You demanded excellence. And most importantly made sure everything was run first class. I was always proud to wear the Avalanche jersey and I’m still proud to be with the organization and hopefully we can bring another Stanley Cup to Denver.
To all my coaches over my career, especially two, Marc Crawford and Bob Hartley, who I was fortunate enough to win championships with. I really wanted to thank you guys. You demanded more of me, you challenged me and you pushed me to get to that next level. I learned a lot from you guys and it was a real pleasure playing for all of you.
You know, I’ve been very fortunate to play with some great teams, and I had some unbelievable teammates and I can’t name every one of them, I’d be here all night. But to each of you, and to all the trainers I’ve had throughout my career, thank you for helping me get here.
As we saw yesterday playing in the Legend’s Game, that’s the one thing you miss most about the game is your teammates, and going to the rink. It was something that I really looked forward to every day.
My agent Don Baizley. You know, Don, throughout my career, you’ve given me some unbelievable advice. But it’s your friendship that I’m really grateful for. You’re a great man, Don, and I’m really glad you could be here with me tonight.
My parents, I know I couldn’t have done this without you guys….without your commitment, your support, your sacrifice in allowing me to play this great game. And I know it wasn’t always easy for you, with my brother, Brian, also playing hockey and my sister, Rose, figure skating. But you guys always found a way to get me whatever I needed, all the way up throughout. And I can’t thank you enough for that.
The most important people now, my family. My wife, Deb. By far the best thing that ever happened to me was going to Swift Current. I went there to play junior hockey but it’s where I met my future wife. Honey, you’ve given me more than you’ll ever know. And I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I thank you and I love you.
And my three kids right there, Mitchell, Chase and Kamryn. I just want to tell you guys how proud I am of you. I know you guys are going to do great things. I love you guys.
And finally to all the fans around the world and in the NHL, especially in Quebec City and Colorado. I thank you guys for all your support and in Quebec City merci beaucoup. I just want to say it was always a treat to play in front of you guys, never took that for granted.
I just want to finish by saying... when I was a kid, I was supposed to be too small and too slow to get to this level. And as I stand here now, I’m truly humbled by this honor and thank you once again."
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