Sakic to play a 20th NHL season

DENVER, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Veteran Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic decided Wednesday to return in 2009 for his 20th NHL season.

After pondering retirement this off season, the team's captain signed a one-year contract.


No dollar figures were disclosed, but the Rocky Mountain News reported the deal was worth $6 million, or $750,000 less than Sakic was paid last season.

The 39-year-old native of Burnaby, British Columbia, played in just 44 games last season because of groin problems and subsequent hernia surgery.

He compiled 40 points by scoring a career-low 13 goals with 27 assists and is the franchise's all-time scoring leader.

"Ultimately it came down to the fact that I still enjoy playing and competing," Sakic said in a statement. "I'm comfortable with my conditioning and my overall health. I'm ready for the start of camp and am looking forward to the upcoming season."

In 1,363 regular-season games, Sakic has compiled 1,629 points (623 goals and 1,006 assists), making him eighth on the NHL's all-time scoring list.

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