19 impressive facts about Joe Sakic

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In anticipation of Monday’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, PHT is taking an in-depth look at each of the four main entrants.

Joe Sakic might not have provided explosive quotes, but his staggering numbers and all-time-great wrist shot were memorable enough. Here are 19 facts/milestones from his incredible career:

1. Sakic scored a point (an assist) in his first career game in 1988-89 and found the net for the first time in his second – against Sean Burke.

2. Even better, he began his career on a 12-game point streak, according to Hockey Reference.

3. Sakic made his first of 12 All-Star appearances in 1990, collecting two assists in Pittsburgh.

4. He scored 100 points for the first time in his second campaign.

5. Later on, he’d become the second-oldest player to hit the 100-point plateau. Sakic did at 37, behind only Gordie Howe.

6. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1995-96, scoring 18 goals and 34 points in 22 postseason games.

7. Not surprisingly, that’s when he won the first of two Stanley Cups.

8. Sakic’s eight playoff overtime goals is an NHL record.

9. His 1,641 career points places him ninth all-time.

10. He collected his 1,000th career point on Dec. 27, 1999:

11. Sakic became the 11th player to collect 1,000 assists on  March 22, 2008.

12. His 625 goals ranks 15th all-time. Here’s No. 600:

13. Sakic is a member of the “Triple Gold Club,” having won a Stanley Cup, World Hockey Championship and Olympic gold medal.

14. Speaking of that Olympic gold medal, Sakic took home the MVP award of that 2002 tournament.

15. Sakic was drafted 15th overall in 1987, going behind some greats (Brendan Shanahan, Curtis Joseph) and some not-so-greats (Bryan Fogarty, Keith Osborne).

16. He basically owns the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques record books, claiming the all-time lead in: goals, assists, points, power-play goals, short-handed goals and game-winning goals. (That also goes for many of the team’s playoff records.)

17. He was the second-longest serving captain in NHL history, according to the Avs.

18. The 2000-01 season was special for Joe. He won his second Cup and took home the Hart Trophy, Lady Byng and Ted Lindsay awards.

19. For all his accolades – these are just the highlights of his astounding career – many will remember what No. 19 did for No. 77 more than anything else:

Video: Flames goalie makes incredible behind-the-back glove save

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A save of the year candidate in September? It’s possible.

Jon Gillies of the Calgary Flames made an incredible stop during Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks.

The camera angle from directly above the net is the best, as it clearly shows how Gillies appeared to bump the puck back toward the goal line, then suddenly reach back with a no-look, behind-the-back glove save to prevent a Canucks goal and stop play.

That is one incredible save.

Drouin shows ‘commitment’ to community with donation to Montreal hospital

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Jonathan Drouin has yet to play a regular season game for his new team, the Montreal Canadiens.

But after getting traded to the Habs in the summer, Drouin has already made a sizable contribution in the community, donating $500,000 over 10 years to the University of Montreal Hospital Centre and planning to help in the fundraising activities to raise an additional $5 million, according to The Canadian Press.

From Sportsnet:

“I think all of that had some impact on his overall decision making,” Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh told Sportsnet. “One day when he’s retired and 50 years old, that hospital [which will begin serving patients for the first time this coming October] will still be here and he’ll have played a role in its development. That means something to him.

“But I think more than anything else he wants to help people. If he can help people—the hospital is going to be the largest hospital in North America and there’s a tremendous need for it in the city—and if he can use the fact that he plays for the Montreal Canadiens to do that, I wish more players felt that kind of responsibility to their communities.”

As noted in the Sportsnet piece above, Drouin is following in the footsteps of Saku Koivu and P.K. Subban, who made generous donations in the community during their time in Montreal.

The Habs acquired Drouin from the Lightning in June, sending prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to Tampa Bay. They then signed the 22-year-old forward — who was born in nearby Ste-Agathe, Que. — to a six-year, $33 million contract.

It won’t be long before the pressure falls on Drouin’s on-ice ability, especially playing as a potential No. 1 center in Montreal and essentially being a hometown player for the Habs. But without even playing a meaningful game for his new team, he’s already giving back to an important cause in the city.

“And when you look at that, if you make $6 million and you give $50,000 a year, it’s not a big deal and you get tax receipts,” he said, per the Montreal Gazette. “But it’s a commitment, and being involved in the community and doing something for your community I think it’s something that you have to do.”

Lupul apologizes, takes ‘full responsibility’ after calling out Maple Leafs on Instagram

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Joffrey Lupul made headlines earlier this week after appearing to make accusations against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Instagram.

The comments — which have since been deleted but caught on a screen grab — came after the Maple Leafs announced Lupul failed his physical prior to training camp for the second year in a row.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per the screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

On Wednesday, the 33-year-old forward, who hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season, posted a statement on his verified Twitter account, saying his Instagram comments were an “inappropriate response.”

Here is his entire statement:

What’s also significant is that he stated he will not seek a second medical opinion regarding this failed physical. As previously noted, that option was available to him, although, per reports, the deadline for this was 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Lupul is in the final year of his five-year, $26.25 million contract.

Erik Cole retires as a member of the Hurricanes

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Erik Cole has officially retired.

The Carolina Hurricanes made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that Cole signed a ceremonial contract with the NHL team and retired as a member of the Hurricanes.

Now 38 years old, Cole played 892 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 265 goals and 532 points. A number of his best seasons occurred while he was with the Hurricanes, reaching 30 goals with the 2005-06 Stanley Cup winning team.

His best season came with the Montreal Canadiens in 2011-12, as he scored 35 goals and 61 points.

His last season was in 2014-15. He began the year in Dallas and was moved to Detroit at the trade deadline, but a spinal cord contusion essentially meant an end to his playing career.

From the Detroit Free Press in April, 2015:

Cole revealed Wednesday that he has a spinal cord contusion severe enough doctors have cautioned him not to play again this spring.

“It stems back from my neck injury in 2006,” Cole said. “When I ran into the player in the Arizona game, I bruised my spinal cord. A spinal contusion is something that you have to let heal and obviously, it’s a pretty serious occurrence. Doctors feel I need to look out for my well-being as a person, not just as a hockey player.”

Cole is now a team ambassador for the Hurricanes.