Colorado Avalanche star Joe Sakic told a Denver radio station on Monday that it has been difficult deciding whether to return for a 20th NHL season, and he will make up his mind soon.
"I will say I don't want this to linger too much longer. I should make my final decision pretty soon," Sakic told radio station KJCD. "Whatever that is, I want to make sure it's 100 per cent sure.
Sakic, who turned 39 last month, played the fewest games in his career last season. He recorded 13 goals and 27 assists in 44 games, missing much of the season due to a sports hernia injury.
"At the end of the year, to be honest with you, I didn't know if I was going to come back," he told the radio station. "I needed that time to really think about my future. It was a tougher decision than I thought it was going to be at the end of the year."
Sakic ranks eighth all-time with 1,629 points and became the 11th man in league history to reach 1,000 assists last season. His 623 goals ranks 14th.
The centre has an additional 186 points in the playoffs, tied for seventh all-time, and holds the record with seven overtime goals in the playoffs.
The Burnaby, B.C., native was selected 15th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1987 NHL entry draft and has spent all 19 seasons with the same NHL franchise.
He was won two Stanley Cups, earning the 1996 Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff most valuable player. Five years later, he picked up the Hart Memorial Trophy as regular-season MVP, Lester B. Pearson Trophy as top player voted by his peers and the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship.
He was named tournament MVP in 2002 as he helped lead Canada to the gold medal in Olympic hockey.
Sakic is among a number of future Hall of Fame contenders mulling whether to come back for another NHL season. Mats Sundin, Teemu Selanne and Brendan Shanahan have yet to sign on.