Because the Stanley Cup banner rolled towards the Ball Enviornment rafters on Wednesday evening, it bought me desirous about maybe probably the most requested query in Colorado Avalanche historical past: Ought to the group have eliminated Eric Messier’s quantity?
I do know what a variety of you might be in all probability screaming at your display screen proper now… “SURE YOU NEW HAMPSHIRE IDIOT!! He was the center and soul of that 2001 Stanley Cup group!
And you would be proper about each components of your shouting.
Properly, possibly not coronary heart and soul. However ask any Avalanche fan with a reminiscence of that final Cup group they usually’ll let you know that after all of the star energy atop the roster, the third line of Shjon Podien, Stéphane Yelle and Eric Messier was in all probability the center of this striker. band.
They weren’t probably the most expert group or recognized for his or her offensive prowess, however they seemingly did all the pieces they wanted to when tapped on the shoulder. What they lacked in true scoring ending, they made up for of their skill to complete their checks and put on down the opposing group’s greatest gamers.
And with out Messier’s excessive sticking penalty that led to New Jersey’s solely depend of the evening, the Avalanche gained Recreation 7 comfortably and certain in a shutout. The place’s the drama and showmanship in that? Thanks for giving us a little bit extra pleasure that evening, Mess! The ready penalty you took three minutes later was a bit an excessive amount of for me, although…
In fact, I am kidding that Messier’s No. 29 was dropped by the Avalanche. Everybody is aware of that the dignity will at some point go to Ryan Stoa. But it surely bought me considering: Which Avalanche participant deserves to have their quantity retired subsequent?
The present squad has 4 gamers who — if all continues on the identical trajectory — will at some point see their roster enhance alongside Sakic, Roy, Forsberg, Foote, Hejduk and the considerably controversial Bourque. These 4 are Gabe Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantenan, and Cale Makar.
Okay, let’s clear the air earlier than we proceed. Is Ray Bourque a legend? Sure. Is he one of many prime 5 defensemen in NHL historical past? Few would say in any other case. Does he need to have his quantity retired in Denver? I’m not positive. The issue is in a profession that spanned 21 seasons and 1,612 video games, 94.1% of which had been spent with the Bruins. His quantity was retired within the wake of the 2001 win and on the time it appeared like an acceptable factor to do given his function in serving to this group overcome the problem. 20 years later, he seems to be barely misplaced subsequent to longtime Avalanche legends.
All that apart, I do not spend an excessive amount of time worrying about Bourque. He is an all-time determine within the NHL and when most individuals consider his taking part in profession right now, the picture they’re in all probability envisioning is of Sakic presenting him with the Stanley Cup that evening. It makes me really feel that his place within the rafters might be warranted.
STOP MAKING ME OFF TOPIC!
I actually needed to revisit a few of these legends of the previous who wore the ‘Snowy A’ on their chest (I need to make ‘Snowy A’ a factor…) and who may at some point be honored as effectively.
For this train, I solely need to take a look at those that qualify as Colorado gamers. I am excluding Nordic skaters solely as a result of that they had their very own set of retired numbers earlier than transferring in 1995. The Avs opted to retire these numbers and add them to the rotation as soon as in Denver. Nonetheless, I included one or two gamers who made the journey.
I all the time felt dangerous for Michel Goulet. Quebec retired its quantity 16 on March 16, 1995, and precisely two months later the franchise performed its final recreation with the Nordiques. Warren Rychel wore the quantity the next fall when the group was renamed ‘Lanche (I additionally need to deliver ‘Lanche again. Folks used to say that extra after which ‘Avs’ grew to become the factor to say), just a few months later Goulet was honored. Have to be the shortest retired quantity in sports activities historical past.
That stated, let us take a look at some gamers who IN MY OPINION ought to no less than be thought of for removing of the quantity.
4 – Rob Blake. I’ve a weak spot for the nice Robby Blake. The final piece acquired on the deadline that yr to assist Colorado win the Cup in 2021. He’s a Corridor of Famer greatest recognized for his contributions to the Kings franchise, but when Bourque may be up there , Blake richly deserves this honor. in Denver too. Additionally, I named my son after him, so clearly I’ve a particular place in my coronary heart for him. No. 4 can also be probably the most proficient quantity in franchise historical past with a deserving group, however, to me, he belongs to the massive man with the huge hip examine.
18 – Adam Deadmarsh. I feel that is the way you spell his final title. I ought to examine that earlier than I click on publish on this text, but when I do not spell examine his final title, it would not be the primary time somebody did not do it for Deader. Apparently sufficient, the primary two names I picked had been gamers who had been…wait…swapped for one another!! Deadmarsh was an awesome participant on these mid-’90s Avalanche groups and a beloved teammate, rattling close to pushing Peter Forsberg to ask the Avs himself after the commerce. He was additionally an essential a part of USA Hockey throughout this time, taking part in within the 1996 World Cup of Hockey for an American group that, after the 1980 Miracle on Ice group, might be probably the most influential in hockey historical past. of our nation. (The jerseys for America and Canada had been wonderful, by the way in which.)
8 – Sandis Ozolinsh. He’ll turn into the perfect defender to put on quantity 8 within the historical past of the group. The epitome of blue line, puck motion, deft hand and clean skating. Quarterback on the ability play. Magician leaving the defensive zone. He may do something and there hasn’t been a participant like him in Denver for the reason that 2000 commerce with Carolina within the draft. Take into consideration this: Sandis Ozolinsh was so in style that the Avs traded former No. 1 general choose Owen Nolan to the Sharks to amass him. He was Cale Makar earlier than Cale Makar was Cale Makar. (I solely put it right here and in numerical order so I could make this remark about swapping Blake and Deadmarsh for one another.)
20 – Rene Corbet. Alright, possibly not. However I needed to create it in NHL96 for Sega Genesis and I made it LEGIT. For this he’s a legend in my thoughts. (One more aspect word: regardless of successful the Stanley Cup in 1996, the Avalanche weren’t within the recreation’s annual launch that yr, because the transfer to Colorado got here too late for the builders to adapt, so the Nordiques had been in a recreation throughout a season through which they weren’t an NHL franchise! Be at liberty to make use of that as a speaking level within the bars, guys.)
22 – Claude Lemieux. And do it when the Pink Wings are on the town. Do it, Joe and Josh. Do it. Lemieux deserves the dignity due to his play on the ice, however many individuals solely bear in mind him for the hit and the fights towards Detroit. I’ve so much to say about this E:60 doc — and solely two relate to the shirt Dater selected to put on throughout his interviews — however I am going to save that for an additional rant sometime.
24 – Jon Klemm. I imply…in all probability the slimmest probability of any participant I am going to title right here, however he performed within the 1996 and 2001 squads. He joined Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Roy and Yelle as the one gamers on the 2… for that he ought to maintain a particular place within the hearts of Avs followers as one among six gamers with two rings as a participant (SO FAR!).
26 – Stephane Yelle. See Jon Klemm’s article. I hope folks will keep in mind that Yelle was additionally extremely resilient. He missed the game-winning OT objective into an open internet in Recreation 3 of the 2001 Western Convention Finals in St. Louis (which former ‘Lanche Scott Younger would win for the Blues minutes later), to bounce again and rating the winner two nights later in Recreation 4. Go watch that yr’s championship film (which I ported to VHS once I was 16) on Youtube and you will see how a lot that objective meant to Yeller and his teammates.
37 – just a few gamers. I assumed lengthy and onerous about quantity 37 for Chris Drury, Ryan O’Reilly and now red-bearded legend JT Compher. Real looking: Not for any of them. However that is really a very good observe file for a brilliant random quantity. Drury would proceed to put on No. 18 in 2001-02 earlier than being traded, however his greatest days in Denver had been in 37.
40 – Alex Tanguay. He, like Drury, additionally wore 18 with the Avs, however is greatest recognized for his time within the No. 40 jersey. Whenever you rating twice in Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, that is the quantity you’ll eternally be within the eyes of that fan base. He additionally scored a objective at Coors Subject in one of many biggest (sarcasm) video games ever performed in league historical past. This recreation got here on his second stint with the Avs when he was carrying 40.
41 – Tyson Barrie. Positive, he is recognized for quantity 4, however I am going to give that to Blake or possibly John-Michael Liles or possibly our lovable little child angel Bo Byram when his profession is over. Barrie wore No. 41 from 2011 to 2013 and I feel that is the place he actually bought… or simply to see him in a quantity that folks forgot he was carrying. Or possibly we pulled him for PE Bellemare simply due to that press convention the place he thought they had been taking part in on Lake Tahoe. I liked that man on the ‘Lanche (deliver him again!).
54 – David Jones. He performed at Dartmouth and after spending a decade working with that program, I realized to actually love ‘Jonesy’. He is all the time been an awesome man and he is had an awesome profession with the Large Inexperienced and stays the most up-to-date All-America program. His days at Dartmouth ought to definitely depend in the direction of the consideration of this honour. And right here is my record and I do what I would like!
88 – Eric Lindros. I break all the principles that I established at the start as a result of I can. Time has given me perspective on this entire state of affairs. I hated him once I was a child as a result of I assumed Lindros thought he was too good for him. Nordic. Now, with hindsight and age, I see his aspect. That being stated: I thank him for his refusal to play in Quebec as a result of this commerce and its big trickle down impact led on to the heyday of the Avalanche groups of the 90/00s and two Stanley Cups.
Anticipate… Joe Sakic wore 88 as a rookie with the Nordiques. Second thought: Take out 88 for Sakic as an alternative.
There you might have it: the whole and utterly appropriate record of POSSIBLE Avalanche retired numbers to think about. Be at liberty to inform me who I missed, however provided that it is Aaron Miller, Curtis Leschyshyn, Greg de Vries, Ville Nieminen, Serge Aubin, Ian Laperriere, Dan Hinote or Carl Soderberg. Anybody else and I will not take it critically.
DOG NAME UPDATE:
My Avs fan buddy who labored in Dartmouth with me (I used to work in Dartmouth, did I let you know that?) despatched me an image of his new pup, Landy, carrying his namesake! He additionally advised me that his pal additionally had a canine named Mikko, however not after the Avs participant. Apparently, they’re simply followers of Finnish tradition.
WHAT A GOOD BOY!!