Colorado Avalanche Mount Rushmore of Centers

Colorado Avalanche v Toronto Maple Leafs
Colorado Avalanche v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages
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*This is an ongoing series chronicling "Mount Rushmore" of Colorado Avalanche position groups.*

Mount Rushmore is one of the iconic landmarks of the United States. Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it’s a mountain with sculptures carved into the side depicting previous influential United States Presidents. It’s comprised of four people, Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Jefferson.

Since its creation, the faces depicted on the mural have been debated in multiple ways like their impact on the country, if others should have been sculpted, or their merit for being on the mountain at all.

In the sports world, a “Mount Rushmore” of a team, or positional area, or city, has been debated for years, and Mile High Sticking will take their turn. As the Avalanche have been in Denver since 1996, there’s plenty of players up for selection, and the franchise’s time in Quebec won’t be taken into consideration.

This series has already discussed several positions on Mount Rushmore to include goalies, left wing, and the blue line. The next installment of this series will be the Centers. There are plenty to choose from over the course of 28 years in Denver, and four stood out above the others. Without further ado, here are the Centers.

4.) Joe Sakic

Mr. Avalanche himself starts this list. He’s clearly the most obvious choice here. He played 20 years for the organization both in Quebec and Colorado, and is the franchise all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, even strength goals, power play goals, short handed goals, game winning goals and shots.

Sakic was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. He’s a three-time NHL All Star, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, won the Conn Smythe trophy as the NHL playoff MVP in 1995-96, won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s regular season MVP and the Lady Byng trophy for gentlemanly play in 2000-01. In 2017-18 Sakic was named as one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players.

 Sakic retired in 2009. His number 19 jersey was retired prior to the 2009-10 season. He joined the Avalanche in an executive capacity, starting in 2011 as an executive governor. He was named executive vice president of hockey operations in 2013 and named general manager in 2014. He, along with others, built the team that won Colorado’s third Stanley Cup in 2022.

He’s about as firmly on Mount Rushmore as any Avalanche player could be.