A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 7

Our lockout-filler series continues (FU Gary). Today we take a look at lucky number 7 - the 2nd most retired number in the NHL with 10, just behind #9 with 11.

Robbie Ftorek - Ftorek signed with the Nordiques in 1979, the same year they joined the NHL. We wore #7 and #38 with the Nordiques (not sure why he changed) serving as captain in both jerseys and playing alongside Pierre Lacroix. He was traded to the Rangers during the 1981 season for Jere Gills and Dean Talafous (which I presumes rhymes with "who???"). Ftorek played in 149 games for the Nords (+5 playoff games), potting 43 goals, 90 assists and 136 penalty minutes with a jibbleriffic -15 +/-. Fun fact: Ftorek won a silver medal with the US Olympic team in 1972. (I think most people know he coached Ryan O'Reilly in Erie, right?)

Dale Hoganson - Haganson is a defenseman who played with the Nords during the same three seasons as Ftorek (79-80, 80-81 and 81-82) before retiring. Like Ftorek, he wore a couple of different numbers for the Nords - 7 and 33. Hoganson played 168 games for Quebec, scoring 7 goals, 56 assists and 79 penalty minutes. He was a -74, in part thanks to a -42 season (and no, that's not even close to a record)

Pat Price - Defenseman Pat Price was a highly touted draft pick (11th overall in 1975) who never quite panned out in the NHL - he broke the 40 point barrier just once. The Nordiques claimed him off of waivers in 1982 (probably because of his rad mustache) and ended up playing parts of 5 seasons in Quebec before being traded in 1987 to the Rangers for the next guy on the list. All in all, Price played in 255 games, notching 8 goals, 72 assists and 497 penalty minutes (he had 1400+ PiMs in his career and had 322 one year in Pittsburgh). At +27, he's the first player to wear #7 for the franchise with a positive +/-.

David Shaw - Shaw, a defenseman, barely counts as he played just 2 games in 1983 wearing #7. The next year, he switched to #4. Overall, Shaw would play 167 games for the Nordiques with 7 goals, 38 assists 158 penalty minutes and a -7.

Lane Lambert - Lambert is a winger acquired for Pat Price in 1987 and he ended up with Price's number 7 after the trade. Lambert played in just 89 games for Quebec, getting 20 goals, 35 assists and 139 PiMs with a -3 +/- rating. Lambert's NHL career ended in 1989 at the age of 24, but he continued to play pro hockey in Switzerland, West Germany and the IHL until the age of 36. Since then, he's worked up the coaching ranks and is currently the assistant coach of the Nashville Predators.

Curtis Leschyshyn - Curt Leschyshyn was drafted 3rd overall by the Avalanche in 1988 and made the team that fall. But with Lambert already owning #7 that year, Leschyshyn wore #46. Lambert was gone the next season, and Leschyshyn moved to the #7 he wore for most of the rest of his career. In all, Leschyshyn played in 522 games scoring 34 goals, 107 assists, 431 penalty minutes and a -35 jibble rating. Oh, and he won a Stanley Cup. That's good, right? The November after winning the Cup, Leschyshyn was traded with Chris Simon to the Avs for Keith Jones and two picks - a 1st (Parker) and a 4th (later traded). Leschyshyn re-signed with the Avs in 2005 but retired before the season started. He then served as color analyst for the Avs radio broadcasts until 2007.

Pascal Trepanier - Trepanier has worn three different numbers for the Avalanche. As a rookie in 97-98, he wore #7for 15 games (can't find a photo). Then he moved to Anaheim in the expansion draft. He returned to the Avs for a season in 2001. With #7 being worn by the next guy on the list, Trepanier went with #3 and then when the Avalanche acquired Darius Kasparaitus he changed to #11. The next year he signed with Nashville but played just 1 game - his last in the NHL. Since then, he's played in the AHL, Switzerland and Germany where is still active. In case you want to feel sorry for him, he's married to a Playboy playmate (Kalin Olson, might not want to google that at work). Overall, Trepanier played 89 games for the Avs, scoring 15 points, 77 PIM and was a +2.

Gred de Vries - My own personal favorite #7 is defenseman Greg de Vries. The Avalanche traded for him early in the 98-99 season and he would be an anchor on defense for the next 5 seasons before leaving in 2004 as a free agent. de Vries played in 379 games, scoring 22 goals and 60 assists with a +46 rating and 311 penalty minutes for the Avs. He also played in 56 playoff games for the Avs, where he always sported a manly playoff beard (sadly, not pictured) and won a Stanley Cup in 2001.

Darby Hendrickson - And we're back to the journeymen. Darby Hendrickson played for 5 NHL teams, with the Avalanche being his last in 2004. Acquired from the Wild along with an 8th rounder (Brandon Yip) for a 4th rounder, Hendrickson played in just 20 games in 2004, scoring one goal, 3 assists, 8 PiMs and weighing in at -8.

Johnny Boychuk - Boychuk played in just 4 games for the Avs in 07-08 scoring no points put was an impressive +1 (at least one of those games were at wing, if I remember right). He was traded the following offseason to the the Bruins for Matt Hendricks. Both players are now solid NHLers for other teams.

TJ Hensick - Hensick wore #37 his first two seasons in Colorado and then switched to #7 - the number he wore at Michigan - for his third season. 7 is also the number of games he played that year. He was traded to the Blues the following offseason for Julian Talbot. He is currently in the AHL but at least one expert assures us he is going to be a devastating scorer. In all, Hensick frustrated Avalanche fans for 99 games in Colorado (again, all but 7 wearing 37). He scored 11 goals, 24 assists, 16 penalty minutes and was a -11.

David van der Gulik - van der Gulik is the 12th player to wear 7 for the franchise, and the second to do so with lower case letters (that counts for something, right?)

So, who wore #7 the best? Stats courtesy of hockey-reference.com

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