Still, the Avs' captain, who will turn 37 next week, said Tuesday it's only fair that he sign a one-year contract extension with the club that will bring him back for at least one more season. He's hoping to be back for at least two.
"If you're over 35, for whatever reason, if you sign a two-year deal -- and after one year you decided to retire, not that I'm going to, the team's still stuck with the cap number," Sakic said. "At this stage of my career, I thought one-year deals would probably be best for both sides."
Terms were not disclosed.
Sakic has played all 17 seasons with the Avalanche franchise and never doubted he would re-sign with the club.
"From the end of the year, this is what obviously both sides were working on," he said. "This was first choice, and we're very excited to be back"
Sakic, the Avalanche captain the last 13 seasons, ranks 11th on the NHL's all-time list in points (1,489), 15th in assists (915) and 17th in goals (574). He has more overtime playoff goals (7) than anyone else.
Only Steve Yzerman has a longer tenure with the same team (22 seasons) and only five other players have tallied more points with one organization (Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Ray Bourque and Yzerman). Colorado has won two Stanley Cup championships with Sakic as captain.
"This organization's success has been due in large part to Joe Sakic, both as a leader and as a premier player in this league," general manager Francois Giguere said. "Keeping him in an Avalanche uniform was definitely a priority."
Sakic said he'd like to keep his production level high.
"I'm confident I've got at least two more years, maybe three," he said. "I'll tell you the last couple years, I haven't taken that much time off. I took a couple weeks off and then get back at it. I'm scared of losing anything so you want to make sure, after the year you get your little bit of rest, but then you get right back at it to try and maintain that level."
He has missed only one game in his last two seasons.
"If you keep performing, and if you stay healthy, you keep playing," he said.