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Colorado Avalanche Greats by the Numbers: Single Digits

November 3rd, 2012 at 4:38 PM
By Jake Green

Since the day the Colorado Avalanche arrived in the mile high city from Quebec in 1995, 221 players have worn the burgundy and steel blue sweater for at least one game.

From numbers one through 99, only 67 have actually been in use. Some numbers are obvious (19, 21,33), others not so much (57, 63, 97).

Starting with the single digits, Avalanche 101 is going through and naming the greatest and most-recognizable players to wear the respective numbers in Colorado Avalanche history.

1: David Aebischer (2000-06) is the first Swiss-born player to win the Stanley Cup. He stepped into the backup role when Pierre Lacroix shipped Marc Denis to Columbus. Ironically, Aebischer's first career win was against the Blue Jackets with Denis in net. Stats: 174 GP, 89-58-13, 2.34 GAA, .915 SV%, 13 SO.

2: Sylvain Lefebvre (1995-99) was acquired in Mats Sundin deal while still in Quebec. He was a big part of the Colorado defensive when they raised their first Stanley Cup banner in 1996. When it was his turn with the cup, he famously baptized his daughter in the cup. Stats: 303 GP, 9-50-59, +58, 175 PIMS

3: Karlis Skrastins (2003-08) set the record with 495 consecutive games played as a defenseman, 226 came as an Avalanche player. He was a shot blocking machine who lost his life on Sept. 7, 2011 in the tragic plane wreck involving the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team. Stats: 275 GP, 9-33-42, +9, 141 PIMS.

4: Uwe Krupp (1995-98) is most famous for scoring the 1996 Stanley Cup winning goal in triple overtime of game four. That season, he only suited up for six games due to injury. But came up huge in the playoffs, playing in all 22 games. Stats: 144 GP, 13-42-55, +37, 90 PIMS.

5: Brett Clark (2003-10) was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers for goalie Frederic Cassivi. After spending three plus years in Hershey, he cracked the lineup as a solid two-way defenseman in 2005. He led the league in shifts per game twice as an Avalanche. Stats: 371 GP, 30-100-130, +6, 205 PIMS.

6: Erik Johnson (2010-Current) arrived in the shocking trade of Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk to St. Louis. He scored his first goal in a Colorado jersey on Feb. 22, 2011 in a 4-3 victory over his former team. He was the fourth American-born player to be drafted number one overall. Stats: 95 GP, 7-29-36, -12, 46 PIMS.

7: Greg de Vries (1998-2003) averaged over 17 minutes per game during the 2000-01 season and played in all 23 playoffs in route to winning the Stanley Cup. He arrived from Nashville in 1998 for a second-round draft pick. Stats: 379 GP, 22-60-82, +46, 311 PIMS.

8: Sandis Ozolinsh (1995-2000) is the NHL's all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points from the former Soviet republic of Latvia. He is also the all-time leader in Avalanche history in regular season and playoff goals by a defenseman, including the series-clinching goal in double overtime against Chicago. Stats: 333 GP, 72-181-253, +19, 271 PIMS.

'Matt Duchene' photo (c) 2011, Matt Boulton - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

9: Matt Duchene (2009-Current) grew up an Avalanche fan. So, it was fitting that he was drafted third overall in 2009 by Colorado. He holds the record for youngest player in Avalanche history to score 100 points. He is currently playing for the Frolunda Indians during the lockout. Stats: 219 GP, 65-85-150, -12, 46 PIMS.

Check back Tuesday for numbers 10 through 19. 

Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Erik Johnson, Hockey, NHL, Sandis Ozolinsh, Uwe Krupp

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