Here’s another of my favorite finishes. For 20 years, he toiled in Boston, establishing himself as one of hockey’s all-time greats, but never got to lay his hands on his sport’s biggest prize–the Stanley Cup.
In 2000, he asks for a trade to a Stanley Cup contender. He gets his wish, going to the Colorado Avalanche. They lose in the conference finals in 7 games.
In 2001, the Avs make the Stanley Cup finals against the cup holders, the New Jersey Devils. He has already decided that win or lose, this will be his last season. The series goes to Game 7. The Avalanche win. Then, the Cup ceremony. Traditionally, the captain of the Cup winners is the first to hoist the cup. Not this time.
Joe Sakic receives the trophy from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman… and skates it over to our hero. As he prepares to lift the Cup, Gary Thorne on ABC makes a call that still gives me goosebumps: