Yesterday was unofficially Joe Sakic Day in Denver, as the 20-year veteran of the Colorado Avalanche announced his retirement in a heartfelt press conference at the Inverness Hotel. The Denver Post’s longtime Avalanche writer, Adrian Dater, does a great job detailing the hours before the announcement. Dater portrays Sakic–known for his ability to not only remain calm in hectic situations but to flourish in them–as jittery and uneasy before the emotional occasion.

ESPN writes that Sakic is a “slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2012.” The Los Angeles Times calls him “one of the NHL’s true greats,” and Toronto’s Globe and Mail quotes hockey’s best-ever player, Wayne Gretzky, saying Sakic had “an outstanding, brilliant career.”