Date of Birth:  July 7, 1969
 Place of Birth: Burnaby, BC
 Residence: Calgary, AB
 Years on National Team:
 Height:  5'11"
 Weight: 195 lbs

With both Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman voluntarily stepping down from Canada's Olympic team in 2006, the Canadian squad is fortunate to still have Joe Sakic to take on the important leadership role.

The Turin Games will be the third consecutive Winter Games for the heart and soul of the Colorado Avalanche. At the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Sakic was Canada's leading scorer with four goals and three assists. His tour de force play in the gold medal game against the USA was legendary as he scored two goals, including the game-winner, and chipped in a helper to lead the Canucks to a 5-2 win over a game USA club. Not surprisingly, Sakic was selected to the tournament's all-star team and was also named MVP. The victory broke a 50-year gold medal drought for Team Canada at the Olympics.

Sakic was also a key member of the Canadian team at the Nagano Games in 1998. Unbeaten through the round-robin draw that year, they ended up facing a tough Czech team backstopped by the dominating Dominik Hasek, in the medal round semi-finals, and lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in an overtime shootout. They ended up in fourth after losing the bronze medal game to Finland.

Drafted by the Quebec Nordiques with the 15th overall pick in 1987, Sakic played one more year of junior hockey - where he won the Junior Player of the Year award in 1988 - before making the jump to the NHL. By just his second year in the NHL, Sakic had already become a star, scoring 39 goals with 63 assists for 102 total points. It was the first of five times that the Burnaby, BC native would break the 100-point plateau.

Sakic has done it all during his illustrious NHL career. In his 16 seasons and counting, he's seen his team move from Quebec to Colorado (1995-96); he's been an all-star 10 times; he's won a pair of Stanley Cups (1995-96, 2000-01); and he's won both a Conn Smyth Trophy (1995-96) and a the Hart Trophy (2000-01).

Still a force at 36, Sakic brings his amazing on-ice vision and lethal wrist shot to Italy where he will likely center Team Canada's top line as they go looking for a second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

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February 23: Early exit 'an awful feeling'
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2006 Hockey Coverage