Seventeen years ago this Sunday that was January 21, 1990, Joe made his All-Star debut in Pittsburgh and playing on the line with Kirk Muller assisted on the game-winning goal which was scored shorthanded by Muller. Today, 17 years later, the league will be announcing Joe as captain of the Western Conference All-Star Team, and he'll join Brendan Shanahan who will captain the Eastern Conference team.
Joe is set to appear in his 12th All-Star Game next week in Dallas. Only 12 players in the history of the League have played in more All-Star Games than those 12. In 2004, Joe was named MVP of the All-Star Game, and he is the fan's choice to start in an All-Star Game for the fourth time in his career.
Q. What do you remember about your first game, and I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about Ryan Smyth who will be playing in first game. One is what should Ryan expect, and were you always able to wear No. 19, because Ryan is going to have to wear 93 this year, not 94?
JOE SAKIC: Is he? What do I remember about the first game? It was a long time ago and I don't remember assisting on Kirk Muller's goal. I just remember how nervous I was, going into the dressing room and sitting there seeing Mario and Ray Bourque and wondering, the year before I was a junior and what the heck I was doing there.
But it was exciting and obviously I'm surprised this is the first time, I thought he was there a couple of times but he is definitely well deserved. He always comes to play every night, and he's just -- for the World Championships and Olympics, he's the perfect teammate. So I'm really happy that he's getting an opportunity for his first time about for him to -- what to expect. I'm pretty sure he's going to be nervous, but I think he's been in enough world championships and Olympic team competitions, he knows most of the guys, so I think he's just going to fit in pretty nice. It's going to be easy for him since he probably knows most of the guys.
Q. Well, it seems strange to see him wearing something that's not 94 though.
JOE SAKIC: Yeah, those games, you see a lot of guys change numbers. Yeah, who is wearing 94 by the way?
Q. Yanic Perreault.
JOE SAKIC: Oh, okay. I don't think I wore 19 too often there, different numbers. Guys change all the time.
Q. You said you didn't recollect too much about your first All-Star Game, was there a first or second where you remember a veteran player saying anything interesting to you or joking around with you, any funny anecdotes about the shy, young kid and one of the veteran players?
JOE SAKIC: Well, I will tell you definitely didn't say too much in the dressing room. I think it's the same, it's a relaxed environment and guys are just having fun and joking around on the ice. I don't think anybody really takes it too serious. Now that I think about it, my first All-Star Game experience that I remember is not the game, the skills competition, I had to do that shot drill, the target shoot. I tell you, my heart was pounding about 200 beats a minute. I don't think I hit them all either so it's just made it worse.
Q. Not to make you feel old, obviously you're going to be the Captain and one of the senior statesmen on the Western team, but do you have young guys go up to you at these things and ask for advice, or is everyone scared of you?
JOE SAKIC: Nobody really -- I don't think anybody asks for advice really there because it's such -- in the dressing room itself before the game, you've got the Skills Competition the day before. It's really relaxed.
So to be honest, I don't think anybody really thinks too much about the game in that environment. I think it's more you just talk and talk about your teams and what you've done and you see old friends and you meet new friends. It's more of a casual, not the game itself talk, more outside the game.