Our long-meandering series continues today with a look at players who've worn #5 for the Avalanche. The three players who've worn it - Alexei Gusarov, Todd Gill and Brett Clark - have appeared in 694 games for the Avalanche, 2nd most so far. Strangely, they only managed 59 playoff games, 4th worst out of the 5 numbers we've done so far.
1995-2000. Alexei Gusarov.
Gusarov is the first Avalanche to wear #5, having continued wearing the number after making the move from Quebec
. Currently, he's worn the number the most of the three Avs - and the only one to win a Cup while doing so, but Brett Clark is just 26 games behind him. Gusarov, of course, had a long history in Russia before coming to North America. Sadly, I couldn't find any photos of him in his pre-Nordique days, but hockeydb
listed him as wearing #4 for Leningrad and #31 early in his career with Moscow, before switching to #5 for the bulk of his Russian career. At least at one point he wore #3 internationally
. In December of 2000, the Avalanche traded Gusarov to the Rangers
and he had to change to #25 because his number was taken by Brian Leetch. Just kidding. It was, of all people, Dale Purinton
. Gusarov was traded later in the season to the Blues
, where he was able to revert to his familiar #5 for the final few games of his NHL career.
Gusarov's #5 Totals: 342GP 16G 63A 79P +66 200 PiM
2000-2001: Todd Gill.
Todd Gill played just 36 games with the Avalanche before his former-Red Wing ass was released by the club, so a photo of him in an Avalanche uniform wasn't easy to find. Like Gusarov, Gill wore #5 for the Avalanche and the Blues
. Unlike Gusarov, Gill also wore 15 (Detroit), 23 (Toronto
, San Jose
), 29 (Toronto, Detroit) and 46 (Chicago).
Gill's #5 Totals: 36GP 0G 4A 4P +3 25 PiM
2003-present: Brett Clark.
Barring trade or injury, Brett Clark will pass Gusarov as the Avalanche who's worn #5 the most. Clark broke in with the Canadiens
in 1997 wearing #29
(Stephane Quintal wore #5), playing in front of goalies Jeff Hacket, Jocelyn Thibault and Jose Theodore
(note to self: prepare for future hirings of Frederic Chabot and Andy Moog). Clark was claimed by Atlanta in 1999 and wore 23 for the Thrashers
(eerily similar to Todd Gill, here) and #5 for some IHL club called the Orlando Solar Bears. He kept that #5 for the rest of the way, from the Chicago Wolves
to the Hershey Bears
(where he served as captain), to, ultimately, the Avalanche.
Clark's #5 Totals: 316GP 29G 85A 114P -2 179PiM