Avs Retire Sakic's #19
Stall Enshrinement Highlights Unforgettable Evening at Pepsi Center
Thursday, 10.1.2009 / 10:42 PM MT / News
To honor Sakic’s legacy, the Avalanche organization unveiled that his dressing room stall would be enshrined forever behind glass with his jersey and equipment hanging as they had for so many years.
Sakic, who announced his retirement on July 9, became the third player to have his sweater number retired in the 14-year history of the Colorado Avalanche, joining Ray Bourque (77) and Patrick Roy (33).
Sakic’s evening began at the newly constructed Pepsi Center Plaza of Fame, which was built in honor of Pepsi Center’s 10th anniversary. From there, he was escorted by a member of each of the five branches of the U.S. military, as well as the Canadian Military, and headed towards the Grand Atrium.
As he entered the Grand Atrium, Sakic made his way through a line of select Avalanche season ticket holders and headed towards the Avalanche hallway for one final stroll to the dressing room. At the end of the hall, Sakic shook hands with the Avalanche training staff and coaches and walked through the front doors.
Upon entering the dressing room, he was greeted by captain Adam Foote, who guided Sakic to his enshrined stall.
After shaking hands with each of the current Avalanche players, Sakic, as he had always done as captain of the team, followed his teammates on the ice and was greeted by a roaring standing ovation.
The on-ice ceremony was highlighted by a video tribute and gifts from the Avalanche Alumni Association and the Colorado Avalanche presented by Avalanche Owner E. Stanley Kroenke and President Pierre Lacroix. Lacroix also introduced Sakic before the former captain gave his speech.
To conclude the special on-ice ceremony, Sakic was asked to join his family members in raising his #19 banner.
Following the ceremony, each Avalanche player wore a commemorative #19 jersey for the pre-game warmup. The jerseys were signed by both the player and Sakic and were put up for auction at auctions.nhl.com. The auction runs from Oct. 1-15 and benefits Kroenke Sports Charities.
To cap off the pre-game festivities, Sakic, as the first member of the Avalanche Alumni Association, dropped the ceremonial first puck between Foote and Sharks captain Rob Blake.