Can Captain Joe save the day for the Avalanche?
A Democratic National Convention couldn't stop the quiet but mighty force known as Joe Sakic from returning to the Avalanche, writes Terry Frei.
DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche officials have been kicked out of their Pepsi Center offices during the Democratic National Convention. In fact, some of those television talking-head segments, with a skyline background, have been taking place on balconies in the office area of the building.So when player agent Don Baizley called Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere on Tuesday and said that Joe Sakic had decided to play another season, and that it was time to agree on a new contract, the reaction almost certainly involved a mixture of relief and gratitude -- and, yes, consternation. Something akin to: That's great but now? After making the announcement Wednesday that Sakic had agreed to a one-year deal, and a $6 million salary that represents a $750,000 pay cut, the Avalanche also said team officials wouldn't comment beyond canned press release quotes until a team-staged Sakic news conference next Tuesday. That might seem ridiculous on the surface, but as a resident of the Fortress Pepsi area of Denver, and as a fascinated observer of the chaotic conditions in the adjacent LoDo area and other parts of the area, I can attest that you kinda have to be here to understand what a mess it is. (Your turn next week, St. Paul.)
Terry Frei is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He is the author of just-released "'77" and of "Third Down and a War to Go."