It was an early fall night in Hartford, the opening night of the 72nd National Hockey League season. For Joe Sakic, it was the kind of night of which dreams are made.
Sakic, Quebec's rookie center with the wicked wrist shot, dressed in the smallish visitors' dressing room deep inside Hartford Civic Center shortly before darting out for warm-ups with butterflies in his stomach.
He went back in the dressing room and waited, still nervous and tense, for what seemed like an eternity. The ice was cleaned and fans settled into their seats -- to unknowingly watch the birth of a Hall of Fame career.