Poor Sasha. She was never my favorite but she was a very talented skater with many special qualities. She had to stay in the shadow of Michelle Kwan for many years though and so barely won any big titles which make people treat her like a failure today. Could she have taken over as the dominant skater had she hung around after 2006. Kwan, Slutskaya, Arakawa, were all retired and Kim did not get her shit together until 2009. Asada after 2006 and 2007 dissapointed, never reaching the same level of skating again. So it would be wide open for Sasha to finally take over on top.
By 2009 Cohen would have had the reputation of several big victories (perhaps) which could have kept her on top in the judges eyes even after Kim possibly became the better skater too. Reputation means so much in the sport even under COP. Sasha also is better than Kim in many ways- spins, spirals, positions, footwork, double axel, speed, even if Kim is overall better in jumps and maybe edge quality and flow.
She could have maybe even swept the big events that quadrennial, or atleast won a couple of them had she stayed. Why didnt she stay, she was only 21.