Just a year after winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 1996, the Colorado Avalanche came very, very close to losing captain Joe Sakic to the New York Rangers. Of course, it was a hot topic at the time, but since then, it has sort of slipped into obscurity and most young fans have no idea that the Rangers actually offer sheeted Sakic 25 years ago, with Sakic actually signing the offer sheet.
Originally, the Avs were prepared to let Sakic go, as they were a small-market team and the Rangers (arguably the biggest market in the game) threw a 3-year, $21M deal at Sakic, which was HUGE money in the summer of 1997. However, one random deal behind the scenes, a movie deal, allowed the Avs to match the offer.
A subsidiary of the the Avs' parent company, Ascent, funded a film called "Air Force One", starring the great Harrison Ford. The film's unexpected success provided a huge infusion of cash into the Avs' organization, which made it possible to match the offer and keep Sakic in Colorado.
The Avs won their second Cup under Sakic's leadership a few years later in 2001 and, naturally, once Sakic's playing days were over in 2009, he took some time off to enjoy life after hockey with his family. In 2011, he returned to the organization in an off-ice capacity in the front office. He became the executive VP of the club in 2013 and became GM the following season.
This year, Sakic captured his third Stanley Cup with the organization before stepping up to take on the title of President of Hockey Operations with the Avs, hiring Chris MacFarland to succeed him as GM.
Sakic is just the third player to win a Stanley Cup with the same organization as both a player and as a GM. The other two were Milt Schmidt and Serge Savard.